Even as the government of India (GoI) has allowed the state government to continue its subsidy scheme for above poverty line (APL) families under Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS), the prices of pulses and sugar being distributed under the scheme are likely to go up.
"The prices of pulses being provided to APL families under the subsidised ration scheme are likely to go up, but it would be a nominal increase," said food and civil supply minister GS Bali while addressing mediapersons here on Thursday.
He said the best thing was that the Centre had agreed to the state's proposal to carry on the scheme and would continue to provide subsidised ration to the state government.
On how much the prices would increase, Bali said the prices were likely to go up by Rs 1 or less. Bali added that the rates of levy sugar being provided to both APL and below poverty line (BPL) families would also differ.
"However, we are yet to work on the sugar prices and the matter will be decided in the state meeting," Bali added.
Bali said the Food Security Bill would be launched in the state most probably on September 11 by chief minister Virbhadra Singh.
He said the Centre had convened a meeting of state food ministers and food secretaries to discuss the implementation of the Food Security Bill in the country. "We have apprised union minister for food and civil supply KV Thomas that the state has taken all preparatory steps to launch the Act, including framing the guidelines for selection of beneficiaries under the Act," he said.
"We were ready to launch the scheme anytime, but were waiting for the bill to get passed in Parliament," he added.
He said the union minister had also assured full support and liberal assistance to the state to develop the foodgrain storage facilities for which state had offered land and other infrastructural facilities.
Bali, who also hold the portfolio of transport minister, said the Centre had in principal agreed to include Himachal Pradesh in the National Rural Transport Scheme on pilot basis and assured him that all pending projects of the state would be commissioned. The two states in the project were Rajasthan and Assam.