Minister R Sakkarapani: 15.5L ration cards in TN moved to priority list in three years

The minister also mentioned that when PHH cardholders pass away or improve their living conditions, they will be replaced by eligible cardholders from the NPHH category.
Minister for Food and Civil Supplies R Sakkarapani
Minister for Food and Civil Supplies R Sakkarapani(Photo | Facebook)

CHENNAI: Minister for Food and Civil Supplies R Sakkarapani informed the Assembly on Thursday that from May 2021 to June 2024, a total of 15.5 lakh ration cards, covering 45.39 lakh members, have been upgraded from Non-Priority Household (NPHH) cards to Priority Household (PHH) cards. This upgrade results in a higher allocation of rice and other commodities under the Food Security Act.

Speaking during the discussion on the grants for his department, the minister announced that Rs 10,500 crore had been allocated for the year 2024-25. He noted efforts are under way to construct 4.35 lakh MT of storage warehouses to prevent paddy spoilage. So far, 2.83-lakh-MT capacity godowns have been built, with the remaining in various stages of construction.

The minister also mentioned that when PHH cardholders pass away or improve their living conditions, they will be replaced by eligible cardholders from the NPHH category. Currently, about 3.64 crore people have been categorised under PHH by the Union government.

Responding to the complaints over non-distribution of kerosene in hill stations like Ooty, Valparai, Kalvarayan Hills, and other areas, the minister explained the kerosene allocation, which was 8,000 kilolitres in 2022, had been reduced to 1,084 kilolitres by March 2024. “ I have written to the Union Petroleum Ministry requesting an increase but was informed that the state is not eligible for a higher allocation due to the high number of LPG connections. Further action will be decided soon,” he added.

Regarding complaints about delays in receiving smart ration cards, the minister said that since the launch of door delivery a few months ago, 4.55 lakh cards have been distributed via speed post. “About 9,500 new cards have been approved and are now ready for distribution, he said.”

In response to a question about distributing rice in bags, the Minister stated that the Union government imposes GST on packed rice bags and that they are awaiting the Centre’s response on this matter.

Civil Supplies and Consumer protection dept

  1. Road routes for transporting rice and other commodities from the godowns of the Food Corporation of India, TNCSC, and other locations to ration shops will be improved to ensure fast transportation. Annually, about 40 lakh MT of goods are transported to ration shops.

  2. The power consumption of rice mills will be monitored through the hulling module introduced in the e-Direct Procurement Centre software to prevent any malpractice.

  3. Warehouses with a storage capacity of about 13,000 MT will be constructed in the Chengalpattu, Cuddalore, and Ramanathapuram districts at a cost of Rs 29.5 crore, supported by NABARD.

  4. Paddy storage facilities with a capacity of 18,000 MT will be built in the Dindigul and Krishnagiri districts.

  5. Training sessions will be conducted at all panchayat unions by trained self-help group members. Rs 1 crore allocated for this initiative.

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