THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Former Civil Supplies Minister and CPI legislative party leader C Divakaran has demanded that the government should ensure that every ration card holder, irrespective of the APL / BPL status, be provided rice at the rate of Rs 2 per kg during Onam season. He told a news conference here that all the 21 lakh poor families as described in the State budget should be distributed Onam kit.
Coming down heavily on the government for the price rise in the items being sold through Maveli stores, he said there were 30 to 50 percent increase in the price of essential items such rice, pulses, chilly and sugar etc. ‘’The price rise during the Ramzan season is still there. Maveli stores are hiking the prices of essential items under the cover of the increases in prices in the open market’’ he said. Divakaran claimed that during his tenure as Civil Supplies Minister in the previous LDF government, the government had not effected any rise in price for the 13 items being distributed through the Maveli stores for the entire period of 5 years.
He said that during the festival season large-scale procurement of foodgrains and essential items was done to ensure that there was no scarcity for such items in Maveli stores. But the UDF Government has done nothing to provide sufficient items in the Onam markets where thousands of ordinary people are queuing up for purchasing essential items. He said that during the time of the LDF Government Onam kits comprising 11 items worth Rs 300 were distributed at a price tag of Rs 150.
While schoolchildren were given (5 kg) rice free of cost, tribals were given 12 kg of rice free of cost. Moreover, 62 lakh people got rice at Rs 2 per kg.