CPI state secretary Pannian Raveendran said that the decision to provide ration subsidy to APL card-holders through banks could have far-reaching consequences. The public distribution system in Kerala is a model for other states. The decision by the government to provide subsidy through banks will torpedo the present system, he said. The decision to provide subsidy through banks will create confusion among the customers. This will ultimately lead to stopping of the subsidy, he said.
He pointed out that the Chief Minister had announced that the APL card-holders who buy rice at Rs 8.90 per kg will be given back the subsidy of Rs 6.90 through bank accounts. The BPL card-holders have to submit the smart card and thumb impression.
There are suspicions that the move is to grab the subsidy provided by the Union Government. CPI will resist the move to sabotage the rationing system in Kerala, he said. As part of the agitation, CPI will take out protest marches to the public distribution centres on Nov 15. The decision of the govt was unilateral and it was not discussed with any of the political parties, he said.