The Union government is examining a proposal from the State government seeking supply of quality rice from West Bengal and Punjab, which is similar to what is produced and consumed in the State.
Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution K V Thomas told reporters on the sidelines of a national seminar on ‘Food Safety - Role of Standards’ that discussions will be held with officials to avail finer quality rice from these States.
To a query on the exact quantity of rice being sought by the State, he said the matter had to be discussed.
Official sources said that the State has requested the Centre to provide finer quality of rice. “We are getting good quality rice from Punjab and Andhra Pradesh, but what we want is rice that is similar to what is consumed by people of the State,” said the source.
The minister said that under the existing TPDS (Targeted Public Distribution System) allocation for the State, the share of rice is 35.57 lakh metric tonnes and wheat is 1.65 lakh metric tonnes. "The food subsidy for TN is `6,420.44 crore for this fiscal. With the proposed additional allocation of 5 million metric tonnes of food grains for below poverty line, the share for TN will be 3.72 lakh tonnes and additional subsidy will be `691.27 crore. Total subsidy will be `7,111.71 crore for TN alone,” he said.