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Huge leakage of PDS grains in states disturbing: Chidamabaram

By Staff

Bangalore, May 2 (UNI) Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram today said due to inadequate steps taken by the state governments, 39 per cent of foodsgrains meant for Public Distribution System (PDS) were leaked and not reaching the deserving people.

Speaking at a function organised by the FKCCI here, he said states often complain that the UPA Government was not providing them with adequate foodgrains under PDS. But the fact was that it had allotted the highest amount of grains during its four-year rule.

''During the six years before the UPA government was formed, the highest offtake of foodgrains under PDS was 239 lakh tonnes of rice and wheat in a single year. In the four years of our governance, we have given a total of 1218 lakh tonnes,'' he said.

The Centre's responsibility was to ensure that the farmer got a handsome price, enough procurement of foodgrains for PDS and the states supplied with sufficient stocks.

''Our responsibility stops here and the states' begins. They have to ensure that foodgrains go to PDS shops and reach the poor with minimal leakage. But what is happening. Is Central government responsible for the leakage,'' he asked.

''Similarly, when funds are given to the states for roads, health or education it is not fully spent, how can the Union Government be blamed,'' he further asked.

''It is important how you govern the state. To get good governance people should elect good people. The people of Karnataka are in the threshold of making this important decision,'' he said referring to this month's Assembly elections.


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