For last 6 months, no sugar for poor from PDS shops in Kota
A ration dealer of Kota said that the state government has not supplied sugar for the last six months and kerosene for three months.jaipur Updated: Sep 28, 2017 19:19 IST
Sugar has not been allocated to the poor under the public distribution system in Rajasthan for the last six months; kerosene was given after a gap of three months.
“I am forced to buy sugar from market at Rs 42 per kg since it is not available at ration shops,” said Farida (60), a below the poverty line (BPL) resident of Bapu colony in Kota.
“Ration shops are also not giving kerosene for the past three months; we are facing difficulty in cooking food,” said the woman does not have an LPG connection.
Khalil Ahmad, a ration dealer of Kota, said the state government has not supplied sugar for the last six months and kerosene for three months.
Not only the BPL families but also the beneficiaries under National Food Security Act (NFSA) and Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) have not got sugar in the state since April.
“There is no distribution of sugar from April onwards and no kerosene allocation, barring some districts, for last 3 months; only wheat is being distributed,” said Sartaj Ahmad, president of the Rajasthan Ration Dealers’ Association.
“Kerosene was last distributed in June; after this, it was allocated in 10 districts in August, and only in Bundi in September.”
Sartaj said the state government has issued orders on September 27 to distribute kerosene quota for September and October -- 15756 kilo litres each – in all 33 districts of Rajasthan.
“Only one working day is left for September; if kerosene is not lifted and distributed by the month-end, then the quota will lapse.”
Asked why was sugar not allocated in Rajasthan, food and civil supplies minister Babulal Verma said, “Going by the union government directives, orders have been issued for allocating sugar to AAY families in the state.” He said, “Kerosene is now being distributed.”
PRICE ESCALATION IN PDS
Prices of sugar and kerosene distributed under PDS have gone up. Sugar was priced at Rs 13.50 per kilogram in 2016; now it’s Rs 25.20, according to information from the Kota district civil supply office. Kerosene price has gone up from Rs 15 per liter last year to Rs 25.20.
“This government is only paying lip service to the poor. It has not only stopped allocation of essential commodities like sugar and kerosene for months now but also charging high prices for the PDS items,” said Shanti Dhariwal, a former Congress minister.
The state has about two crore ration card holders, and about 25,000 dealer shops, official data shows. Half a kg of sugar and 2.5 litres of kerosene are given to a family every month, the Kota supply officer said.