New subsidy system in Kerala for APL
Thiruvananthapuram: In a move to check diversion of rice meant for Public Distribution System, Kerala government will deposit the subsidy component of rice given to APL card holders in their bank accounts from January next.
Addressing a press conference here, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy today said APL consumers would get 10 kg of rice at Rs 8.90 per kg. As regards the nine kg rice provided at a subsidised rate of Rs 6.90 per kg, the subsidy would be credited into the consumer's bank account from January 1 next.
The BPL card holders would get their rice through RSVY (Rastriya Sam Vikas Yojana) bio-metric smart card after necessary upgradation work was carried out at the 14,620 ration shops in the state, he said.
The process of modernisation of ration shops was expected to be completed by January 2014 and new system for BPL card holders would be introduced from that date, Chandy said.
The revamping of the system would ensure that government subsidy of Rs 350 crore each to APL and BPL categories annually reached the beneficiaries, he said.
The step was also part of initiatives of the government to check price rise of essential commodities, he said.
Despite the subsidy, the open market price of rice was increasing, he said adding "this should not be allowed to happen".
With regard to market intervention, he said the government had sanctioned Rs 35 crore to the state Civil Supplies Corporation to take steps to check price rise of essential commodities.
The government would also take steps to ensure that the paddy procured from the farmers and converted into rice at the mills do reach the hands of BPL and APL consumers in the state, he said.
As per the current rates, BPL families would continue to receive 25 kg rice at Rs one per kg and will be provided with RSVY bio-metric smart card to enter the details of their purchases.