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Despite tall claims,govt fails to supply food items for PDS

Despite repeated promises of supplying sugar,pulses and mustard oil at a cheaper rate through the public distribution system,the state government again failed to supply these food items from September 1.

Despite repeated promises of supplying sugar,pulses and mustard oil at a cheaper rate through the public distribution system (PDS),the state government again failed to supply these food items from September 1.

In an earlier instance,the state government missed its deadline of supplying masoor dal from August 1.

“We have been told several times that we will get sugar,oil and pulses from the food and supply department soon. We have been waiting since July for the items. Accordingly,all the ration shop dealers have deposited money but we are yet to get the supply,” said Biswambhar Basu,general secretary,All India Fair Price Shop Dealer’s Association.

“Since it has been announced by the government that the food items will be available at cheaper rates at the ration shops from September 1,they have started asking us for it,” added Basu.

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Senior officials of food and supply department,however,still appear to be on the defensive.

“We have to arrange a huge quantity to supply the food items through the PDS and arrange for a huge subsidy. The process will take time. The ministers announce it but we have to arrange it,not them,” said a senior official of the department.

Principal Secretary of the department and Food Commissioner P S Kathiresan said: “We have already arranged some quantity of sugar. But we are yet to arrange mustard oil. The masoor dal is being dehusked in the mills and will reach the ration shops soon. We will start supplying sugar and oil from next week.”

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According to a senior food and supply department official,the state government will distribute around 15,000 metric tons of sugar. But the government needs a huge quantity of sugar to supply to all the APL card holders and it has to arrange for a subsidy of Rs 6 crore for supplying sugar at lower rate than the open market.

“We are yet to arrange the exact quantity of sugar required in the state. We have to arrange for a subsidy for the 15,000 metric tonnes of sugar that we have already procured from a private agency. So,we decided to restrict the quantity of the distribution of sugar since there is no way out,” said a senior official pleading anonymity.

First published on: 03-09-2009 at 03:12 IST
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