Centre’s Rs 29/kg rice scheme will make country bankrupt: Minister KH Muniyappa

Muniyappa accused the Centre of launching the rice scheme for publicity, while not giving rice to the state government’s “Anna Bhagya” scheme.
KH Muniyappa said the Food Corporation of India rejected the state government’s request for 5 kg additional rice to supply to beneficiaries of “Anna Bhagya” scheme.
KH Muniyappa said the Food Corporation of India rejected the state government’s request for 5 kg additional rice to supply to beneficiaries of “Anna Bhagya” scheme.(Express illustration)

BENGALURU: Food and Civil Supplies Minister KH Muniyappa on Tuesday said the Union government’s initiative to sell rice at Rs 29 per kg will push the country to bankruptcy as it is incurring a loss of Rs 20 per kg.

He accused the Centre of launching the rice scheme for publicity, while not giving rice to the state government’s “Anna Bhagya” scheme. He was responding to BJP member N Ravi Kumar’s question on the state government’s failure to implement the “Anna Bhagya’ scheme and a report on the death of a person because of hunger. Muniyappa clarified that no deaths have been reported due to hunger. If the Council member provides specific information, the government will look into it, he added.

He said the Food Corporation of India (FCI) rejected the state government’s request for 5 kg additional rice to supply to beneficiaries of “Anna Bhagya” scheme. The government is trying to procure the required quantity of rice from other states, but the price is more than the FCI rate. The government is now giving money instead of 5 kg of rice to all beneficiaries, he said.

For the Central government’s “Bharat brand” of rice that is being sold at Rs 29 per kg, FCI is procuring the foodgrain at Rs 38-40 per kg from Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and other states. They have distributed 60 lakh metric tonnes to NAFED (National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd), NCCF (The National Cooperative Consumers Federation of India Limited), and Kendriya Bhandar at Rs 19 kg. These organisations will process it and sell it at Rs 29 per kg. The Union government is incurring a loss of Rs 20 per kg, while crores of rupees are being spent to publicise the scheme. “It will push the country to bankruptcy,” he warned.

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