Puducherry seeks to procure rice locally
New Delhi : Puducherry Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy on Thursday met Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan and demanded permission for the union territory to procure rice locally from the farmers directly.
Narayanasamy said that due to the drought in the union territory for the past two years and various other factors, the Public Distribution Scheme (PDS) model is more appropriate for the union territory as compared to the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) model, said an official statement from the Ministry.
He requested Paswan to allow procurement of 80,000 tonnes of paddy locally from the farmers, out of which 48,000 tonnes of rice can be extracted, it said.
Under the National Food Security Act, the rice requirement of Puducherry is 45,000 tonnes, it added.
He also demanded that single boiled rice should be provided through the PDS, the statement reads.
Paswan gave in-principle approval to the demands of the Chief Minister but requested him to ensure that the beneficiaries of the National Food Security Act are provided with their due share in a fair and transparent manner, it said.
Paswan also stressed that the PDS shops should be accurately tagged with the beneficiaries, proper transportation should be arranged for taking the procured rice to the PDS shops, checks should be kept on PDS shops with regular inspections and any malpractice should be immediately reported.
"This move is likely to reduce the costs involved in procurement and transportation of rice from other states as the U.T. will be able to procure the required rice locally and also ensure that the local farmers are able to get the Minimum Selling Price (MSP) for their produce," it reads.
Narayanasamy assured Paswan that a detailed proposal in this regard will be given to the Ministry within 15 days.