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Roll back subsidy cut decision: Left tells Govt

Describing the decision as shocking and anti-poor, the Left have announced a nationwide campaign against it.

india Updated: Jan 06, 2006 21:35 IST

The Left parties on Friday demanded the reversal of the government's decision to cut food subsidy, describing it as "anti-poor", and have announced a nationwide campaign against it.

The government had announced that subsidy would be cut by Rs 4,524 crore, which would be carried outby reducing the quantity of wheat and rice issued through public distribution system and government schemes for below poverty line consumers.

In separate statements, the CPI(M) and the CPI said it was "shocking" that Below Poverty Line and Antyodaya families would get five kilogram less food grains per month.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs haddecided to reduce the off-take quantity of food grains for both Above Poverty Line and BPL families to 20 and 30 kilograms respectively while increasing the issue prices for APL by 70 per cent of the economic cost and for BPL by 50 per cent.

"Instead of enlarging the scope of the PDS, this amounts to reducing its spread and the access of ordinary people to basic nutrition", the CPI(M) said, with the CPI adding that instead of improving and streamlining it, the government was "out to dismantle" the PDS.

"Further, this move will limit the turnover of the Food Corporation of India and affect its ability to undertake procurement at minimum support prices of crops. At a time when farmers continue to reel under severe agrarian crisis, the attempt should be to ensure stable prices through procurement," the CPI(M) said.

First Published: Jan 06, 2006 21:35 IST