New Delhi/Amaravati: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy culminated his two-day visit to New Delhi on Friday with a meeting with Union Railways and Civil Supplies Minister Piyush Goyal, during which he appealed for the release of Rs 3,229 crore pending arrears for Andhra Pradesh Civil Supplies Corporation.
The arrears are expected to come in handy for paying the farmers for Rabi crop procurement.
During his discussions with Goyal, Reddy said that free rice distribution will be carried out for another two months owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, even as he stated that effective measures are being taken by the government to overcome the situation.
According to the Chief Minister, nearly 1.29 crore ration cardholders in the state were provided with 1.85 lakh MT of rice every month till December 2015 under the National Food Security Act, which later diminished to 0.91 crore beneficiaries, prompting him to call it an injustice.
“After December 2015, considering the 2011 Census, the distribution has been limited to only 60.9 percent households in rural areas and 41.1 percent households in urban areas, where only 0.91 crore ration card holders are receiving the ration with the allocation getting reduced to 1.54 lakh MT,” he noted.
Comparatively, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Gujarat are receiving more supplies, he claimed.
“Allocation basis for rice was decided before the state’s bifurcation, but all the allotments in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh are being carried out on the same basis without any reality check,” said Reddy.
He also reminded the Union Minister that according to a Supreme Court ruling, the state government is responsible for identifying those eligible for ration cards, and Andhra Pradesh had identified 1.47 crore such ration card holders.
The CM emphasised that the poor are severely suffering due to the unreasonable restrictions under the Food Security Act and called for a rectification at the earliest.
Reddy also informed Goyal that the southern state is procuring paddy for 2020-21 Rabi season at remunerative prices from the farmers in a timely manner.
Reddy ended his two-day visit to Delhi with a series of meetings involving Amit Shah, Dharmendra Pradhan, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and others.