UDUPI, August 19, 2013
Minister for Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Dinesh Gundu Rao said on Sunday that the government was thinking of installing biometric machines at all godowns and fair price shops under the public distribution system (PDS) to plug leakages and check irregularities.
Addressing presspersons here, Mr. Rao said that since thumb impression was essential in biometric machines, the chances of leakages in supply, distribution and sale of foodgrains under the PDS would drastically come down. Biometric machines were in use in some districts of the State such as Tumkur and Chikmagalur, while they were being installed in Mysore, Gulbarga and Hubli-Dharwad. This facility would be extended to Udupi, Dakshina Kannada and Uttara Kannada districts in the next three to four months. This facility would gradually cover the entire State.
The government would decide on increasing commission to the PDS fair price shops after the byelections to the Mandya and Bangalore rural parliamentary constituencies. Now, those loading gunny bags of foodgrains got just Rs. 6 per bag. The government would consider increasing this amount after the parliamentary byelections.
He said despite doubts expressed in many quarters, the government’s ambitious programme of Anna Bhagya, which provides rice at Re. 1 per kg to poor families, was being implemented without any confusion. It was benefitting 98 lakh poor families. The government would be spending Rs. 4 crore on the Anna Bhagya scheme annually.
Since people in the districts of North Karnataka preferred either jowar or wheat instead of rice, the government was thinking of providing some component of jowar or wheat at subsidized rate along with rice.
So, too, in some districts of South Karnataka, ragi was preferred. Since ragi was not grown in adequate quantity, the government was thinking of announcing a minimum support price for ragi.
This would encourage farmers to grow ragi and this could then be supplied to the people.
In Udupi and Dakshina Kannada districts, boiled rice was preferred to raw rice. Hence, the government would look into this aspect.