New Delhi: The government on Wednesday said that
it has not yet made up its mind on the Supreme Court`s
suggestion to discontinue providing subsidised foodgrains to
families above poverty line (APL).
"The main issue, which I have read from newspapers, is
what is the government`s view on subsidised foodgrains to
APL. Of course, we have not taken any view yet," Food Minister
Sharad Pawar told scribes on the sidelines of a function here.
The apex court had, on July 27, suggested that the
government consider discontinuing supply of subsidised grains
to APL families and, instead, restrict the facility to those
below poverty line in view of growing corruption and pilferage
in the existing Public Distribution System.
"The Supreme Court has sought our reaction. We haven`t
taken any view," Pawar said.
Stating that the President of India had spoken about the
Food Security Bill during her address at the joint Parliament
session, Pawar said she had only made a mention about
providing subsidised food at Rs 3 per kg of rice and wheat for
below poverty line families.
"On that line, ultimately we have to take a final view,"
Pawar said that his ministry was expecting suggestions
from the National Advisory Council on the issue, and would be
happy to discuss the matter with representatives of state
governments and the ministries concerned.
"Then, the (Food) ministry will take some definite view
and come before the Parliament," he said, declining to give
any time-frame in this regard.
"From our side, we have discussed the issue with Food
Secretaries from different states. We have also got some views
from different ministries. But, we are just waiting for some
other suggestions," Pawar added.