Karnataka postpones rice scheme for a month

Tumkur (Karnataka), June 1 (IANS) Karnataka’s plans to provide rice at Re.1 a kg for the poor from Saturday has been put off by a month, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said Saturday.

The newly-elected Congress government, which returned to power on its own after nine years in the May 5 Karnataka assembly polls, had promised in its election manifesto 30 kg rice a month to the below poverty line (BPL) families at Re.1 a kg.

Siddaramaiah’s first announcement after taking over as chief minister May 13 was that the scheme would be implemented from June 1.

However, he has been forced to put off the plan by a month as the central government has not supplied the required quantity of rice.

“The state needs 180,000 tonnes of PDS (public distribution scheme) rice more to fulfil the promise made by the Congress in its manifesto to give 30 kg rice to each family at Re.1 per kg,” he told reporters while launching the cash subsidy scheme for cooking gas for the poor at a function in this town, about 70 km from the state capital Bangalore.

“The central government could not meet the requirement after agreeing to do so. The supply would be received this month, and we will definitely implement the scheme from July 1,” Siddaramaiah said.

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