Govt. cannot follow SC's direction on foodgrain distribution: Pawar

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New Delhi, Aug.19 (ANI): The Government on Thursday said it was not possible to implement the Supreme Court suggestion that asked the Centre to distribute foodgrains for free to the poorest.

Union Minister for Food and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, said: "It's not possible to implement the Supreme Court order.

Pawar said that the Supreme Court "had suggested to either distribute freely or sell at cheaper rates to the poorest of poor. The government cannot distribute foodgrains freely, but is providing rice and wheat at cheaper rates to the poor".

"We cannot distribute freely. Antodaya Anna Yojna (AAY) is applicable to the poorest of poor. We are buying wheat at Rs. 16 a kg and distributing at Rs. 2 a kg. What (the) Supreme Court is telling, we are already doing it," Pawar said.

The Apext court, last week, had directed the government to distribute foodgrains to the hungry as a measure to overcome the storage problem.

The Supreme Court had passed the direction while dealing with a PIL filed by the civil rights group PUCL on rampant corruption in Public Distribution System (PDS) besides rotting of foodgrains in FCI godowns.

The Supreme Court had asked the Centre to ensure construction of a big godown in each State besides separate godowns in different districts and divisions within the States and expedite the computerisation process of the PDS system to check pilferage and corruption.

Food Corporation of India (FCI) is the nodal agency for procurement and distribution of foodgrains in the country.

It is pertinment to mention that the FCI has stock to the tune of 57.8 million tonnes at the start of the month against buffer norm of 31.9 million tonnes. (ANI)

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