IN GADCHIROLI district, which falls in the Naxal belt of Maharashtra, the state government has decided to undertake a new public distribution system (PDS) project to tackle high instances of anaemia.
According to a proposal cleared by the state cabinet on Wednesday, the state food and civil supplies department will distribute fortified rice through the PDS in the district.
A pilot was earlier conducted in two talukas of the same district and was found to be successful. Under the project, paddy will be milled locally and blended with fortified rice kernels and supplied to fair price shops in the coming year. The state cabinet also cleared a proposal for an overhaul of the transportation system for distribution under the PDS.
In another proposal, the state cabinet announced a one-time settlement scheme for poultry cooperatives that have defaulted on government loans. The state has offered to waive up to 50 per cent interest for such cooperatives if they agree to continue their business for at least 10 years. Out of 73 such cooperatives registered in the state, 26 have shut down, while another 30 are in the red. Collectively, they owe the government Rs 145 crore in loan arrears. The government has said those interested in availing the amnesty will have to apply within a month.