Mumbai: Terming Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s ‘Diwali gift hamper’ of Rs 100 as “too meagre”, the Maharashtra Congress on Thursday said that all ration card-holders should be given Rs 3,000.
Congress’ Maharashtra unit president Nana Patole flayed the government’s decision to give a gift package of 1 kg each of sugar, chana dal, palmolein oil and rava for Rs 100 to 1.70 crore ration card-holders through the public distribution system.
The move came on Tuesday — the eve of Dassehra — and is intended to benefit around seven crore individuals (1.70 crore families), for sweet dish preparations.
“Considering the current high inflation, the government must deposit Rs 3,000 as a Diwali gift into the bank accounts of these (1.70 crore) families,” Patole demanded in a letter to the Chief Minister on Thursday.
He said it’s the duty of the state government to “sweeten” the Diwali of the masses in the state but given the tremendous inflation in the state, buying even daily essentials like food and groceries has become difficult for the ordinary folks.
“This Rs 100 dole is too small for a family… if you want people to really enjoy the festival season then be sensitive to their needs and gift them Rs 3,000 into their bank accounts,” Patole urged.
Currently, the price of chana dal is around Rs 120 per kg, rava Rs 60, palmolein oil Rs 140 and sugar Rs 60, with rates varying depending on quality or brands, or roughly around Rs 380 for the Diwali gift that the state will give for Rs 100.
The state cabinet announced the Diwali gift for a month through an e-pass system which would entail a burden of Rs 489 crore on the state exchequer.