PUDUCHERRY: Revival of the single-boiled rice scheme through PDS has been held up due to cancellation of the procurement tender from by the government, according to sources. This is contrary to allegations by a section of organisations that blamed Lieutenant Governor Virendra Kataria for blocking the scheme.
Under the scheme, 10 kg of free single-boiled rice is provided to every family per ration card. There is a total of 3,40,804 family ration cards in the UT, covering a population of 12,47,953. This includes 1,20,104 in Puducherry, 26,749 in Karaikal, 5,227 in Mahe and 6,954 in Yanam region. Out of this, a total of 1, 48,958 cards are BPL and AAY (Antodaya Anna Yojana for the poorest of the poor).
The rice is procured from the open market through tenders and given to the PDS for free distribution. After the Lok Sabha elections, Chief Minister N Rangasamy dispelled all apprehensions about the stopping of the scheme and announced that the scheme would be revived by June 20 and pending distribution of rice for the months of April and May would be given along with rice for June.
However, the rice is yet to reach the fair price shops for distribution. The reason for the delay is that after the L-G approved the government proposal, the government could not finalise the tender and cancelled it. “Due to administrative reasons the tender was cancelled and fresh tender was floated on June 19 to procure the rice,“ director of civil supplies Priyatarshiny told Express. The rice will be supplied once the tender is finalised and awarded, she said.
However, the actual reason for the cancellation was the high price quoted by the bidders. The lowest bidder had quoted a price of `31 per kg as compared to the earlier procurement rate of `24 per kg, sources said. The increase in rate was 26 per cent over the previous bid.
Since the increase was more than 20 per cent, tender rules do not permit it and hence it had to be cancelled and retendered.