Centre ‘deliberately not providing’ rice to Karnataka, alleges Siddaramaiah

Addressing mediapersons in Bengaluru, Siddaramaiah said: "Food Corporation of India's (FCI) deputy manager has informed that it has seven lakh tonne rice in stock.

Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Wednesday said that the Centre is “doing politics” in reagrds to the free rice distribution scheme and “deliberately not providing” the commodity to the state.

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Addressing mediapersons in Bengaluru, Siddaramaiah said: “Food Corporation of India’s (FCI) deputy manager has informed that it has seven lakh tonne rice in stock. In spite of having stock, why is the Centre not supplying rice? BJP leaders are anti-poor. They are resorting to all these tactics to bring a bad name to the Congress government.”

“We are requesting the Chhattisgarh government to supply rice,” he stated.

“We had a discussion with the FCI’s deputy manager. He had assured the state Food and Civil Supplies Minister K. H. Muniyappa and us to supply rice. He had also written a letter on June 12 and promised to supply rice with the consent from the Centre. After this development, the Central government has taken a political decision,” Chief Minister Siddaramaiah alleged.

“It was agreed to provide 2,08,425 metric tonnes of rice to Karnataka. But, they have written a letter on June 13 saying that the states can’t be provided wheat and rice under the Open Market Sales Scheme (OMSS). The Central government has taken a political decision deciding not to give rice to Karnataka, only to bring bad name to the Congress government,” Siddaramaiah charged.

“The Centre is carrying out a conspiracy to ensure that the free rice scheme is not implemented in the state. Whatever conspiracy it might be, we will try to implement the scheme. The Tamil Nadu government has not given 100 per cent assurance in terms of providing rice. Muniyappa will reach Telangana and a clear picture will come out after discussion with the CM and ministers there,” he claimed.

The five guarantees are already announced and their commencement dates are also being declared. The first guarantee of free travel for women is already in place. “We have promised 10 kilograms of rice for Antyodaya card holders. Presently, the state government is providing five kilograms of rice. We had been told that five kilograms would be given in addition. If we have to give free rice, 2.28 lakh metric tonne rice is required,” said Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.

It will cost Rs 34 per kilogram and Rs 2.60 will be in addition for the transportation. For Anna Bhagya scheme, the government will incur Rs 840 crore expenditure a month, and for a year, Rs 10,092 crore is required. The state has no financial crunch to purchase additional rice and there is no problem for ongoing schemes, he said.

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