All party meeting on public distribution system soon: Nitish

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Patna, Dec 14 (UNI) Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today informed the state Assembly that the state government would soon convene an all-party meeting to discuss the ways and means to check ''rampant'' corruption in the public distribution system.

Intervening in a special debate on the issue, Mr Kumar admitted the prevalence of corruption in the public distribution system and said a united effort from all political parties was needed to remove the menace in the system in the interests of poor.

''Unless we adopt a pragmatic approach to ensure effective public distribution for smooth delivery of food grains and other essentials to the poor, there would be no point in passing the buck on others for the maladies in the system,'' he said.

All party meeting would not be just a gathering to express views on the issue, rather it would be treated like a workshop where all public representatives could participate in the threadbare discussion on providing solution to this serious issue, he said.

Mr Kumar castigated the Centre for not providing adequate quota of food grains to Bihar for distribution among poor as the state government received food grains for only 7.2 million families while more than 14.0 million families were living below poverty line(BPL).

He said the ration coupons would be distributed among the poor after proper rectification of the BPL list as the existing one reportedly had several irregularities.

He also adocated for increase in quota of kerosene oil to the state, saying the per capita power consumption in Bihar was the lowest in the country and majority of its population used kerosene oil as source of light in their houses.

Mr Kumar said he would raise the issue of fresh standardisation of points in the National Development Council(NDC) meeting for measurement of poverty. Unless a proper methodology was evolved to measure poverty, it was not poosible to prepare poverty eradication programmes, he added.


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