BENGALURU: Bowing to pressure from Congress legislators, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has decided to provide PDS foodgrains to Above Poverty Line (APL) families as well.
The issue of bringing APL families under the public distribution system is said to have dominated the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting on Wednesday.
Responding positively to the suggestion of the MLAs, the CM has instructed Food and Civil Supplies Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao to prepare a proposal on this and submit it to the government soon, a party source said.
Gundu Rao suggested fixing the price of rice and wheat for APL families at `15 and `10 per kg respectively, which is being distributed at `1 per kg to BPL families.
The MLAs, however, insisted on fixing the price at `9 per kg of rice and wheat for APL families, the sources said. Meanwhile, the legislators rejected a plan to reintroduce the lottery system in order to fund the Anna Karunya medical services scheme for the poor. On Tuesday, Deputy Chairman of the State Planning Board C M Ibrahim had indicated that lotteries might be restarted. According to a source, the chief minister had to pacify the legislators by telling them that it was only a suggestion, and no decision was taken on the issue. The MLAs, however, were enthusiastic about starting Anna canteens to serve food items at subsidised rates.
Tardy progress in the distribution of houses and new ration cards, and the delay in release of development grants to MLAs were the other issues that came up for discussion at the meeting, KPCC president G Parameshwara said. Siddaramaiah also promised to convene another CLP meeting next week, according to sources.