CHENNAI: Fearing that Tamil Nadu will discontinue its universal Public Distribution System (PDS), opposition parties on Tuesday lashed out against the new regulations issued by the State government under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013.
Despite Food Minister R Kamaraj and officials from the State Civil Supplies Corporation claiming that universal PDS will not be discontinued in Tamil Nadu, a widespread apprehension seems to have gripped the State.
In a statement, Leader of the Opposition M K Stalin said the government had implemented the regulations that former chief minister J Jayalalithaa opposed. “The government decided to implement the Act in November when Jayalalithaa was hospitalised,” he said, adding that he strongly condemned the State government’s move.
“The move will increase hunger deaths in the State and affect the poor,” said VCK leader Thol Thirumavalavan in a statement. T Velmurugan, leader of Thamizhaga Vaazhvurimai Katchi, alleged that it was State conspiracy to put an end to universal PDS.
The new regulations, however, contain only regulations to include or exclude family cards from priority households. While the new regulations do not mention that Tamil Nadu will continue the existing system, officials said the notification had been misunderstood.