Flaying the state and Central governments for not distributing food grains to the poor sections of the society under the Public Distribution System (PDS), Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) on Monday held a protest rally in support of their demand to disburse ration to the poor at the controlled rate.
Earlier, people of all categories were allowed to get ration at controlled rate under the PDS, but only weaker sections were actually taking the benefit and the quota of people belonging to the upper middle class was being misutilised by the ration depot holders, general secretary of Punjab unit of CITU Raghunath Singh said while addressing the protesters.
Instead of curbing black-marketing, the union government instead stopped distribution of food grains to the poor, Singh said, adding that due to inflation, it had become very difficult to the poor to make both ends meet.
He said that the eligibility criteria for enjoying the below poverty line status was very difficult. "Families earning more than Rs 30 per day don't fall in the BPL category, despite the fact that Rs 30 was too meager a sum to have two square meals a day. It is high time that conditions for BPL status is relaxed so that maximum number of poor are covered under the scheme," he added.
He said that it was an irony that a large chunk of the population was struggling to earn two times meal, while thousands of tonnes of grain was rotting in the godowns.