• Wed. May 22nd, 2024

LPG Cylinder At Rs 500 In The Next 100 Days

LPG Cylinder At Rs 500 In The Next 100 DaysLPG Cylinder At Rs 500 In The Next 100 Days

Hyderabad, December 12: Minister for Irrigation, CAD, Food & Civil Supplies Capt N Uttam Kumar Reddy reiterated that the Congress Government in Telangana would implement the promises of giving Gas Cylinder for Rs 500 and bonus of Rs 500 per quintal for paddy, the two assurances among six guarantees given during elections, within 100 days of coming to power.

He was addressing a press conference after holding a review meeting on the functioning of the Consumer Affairs, Food and Civil Supplies Department at Civil Supplies Bhavan at Erramanzil here on Tuesday.

Uttam Kumar Reddy emphasized the department’s crucial role in serving the state’s 2.9 crore population, particularly the underprivileged, through the Public Distribution System (PDS) and other programs. It also handles the procurement of paddy from the farmers. He said that the department would play a crucial role in the implementation of two major guarantees given by the Congress party during elections. “We are committed to providing gas cylinders for Rs 500 and give a bonus of Rs 500 per quintal of paddy within 100 days of power. I’ve conducted a detailed review of the functioning of the Civil Supplies Department to get an overview of how these two guarantees could be implemented efficiently,” he said.

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About the new ration cards, Uttam Kumar Reddy said that as of today there are 89,98,546 Food Security cards in the Telangana State and nearly 11.02 lakh new applications are pending. Through PDS, a total of 6,47,479 cardholders are getting 6 kg of rice for free. However, he said of 6 kgs, five kg of rice is being provided by the Central Government under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana and the remaining 1 kg of rice is being provided by the State Government. He said nearly 11% of intended beneficiaries are not using their ration cards. Therefore, he said he would discuss the issue with Chief Minister Revanth Reddy and the State Cabinet would decide on the issue of new ration cards.

Uttam Kumar Reddy revealed that almost 90% of rice being provided by the Centre and State for Rs 39.02 per kg was not edible. The beneficiaries are selling away the poor quality PDS rice to dealers, idly-dosa units, poultry farms, etc., for as low as Rs 5 per kg. Therefore, the very purpose of supplying free rice to the poor through PDS is not being achieved. He directed the Civil Supplies Department officials to conduct an in-depth study on the quality of rice being supplied to the ration card holders. He emphasized improving the quality of PDS rice to the beneficiaries. “If the rice being given to the poor people is not edible, then the entire purpose is lost,” he said.

The Minister said also directed the officials to identify and rectify the lapses in the functioning of the corporation, especially in the management of IKP centers. He said that the procurement from farmers should be transparent and prompt while ensuring immediate disbursal of money into their accounts.

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Uttam Kumar Reddy accused the previous BRS Govt of ruining the Civil Supplies Corporation’s financial health. He said that the BR’s Govt never supported the corporation financially and prompted it to take loans from outside agencies while giving guarantees. Consequently, he said that the Civil Supplies Department today has outstanding debts of Rs Rs 52,067.03 Crore which is alarming. He said that the department lost Rs 3,645.25 crore only due to interest on these loans.

He said that the losses of the corporation today stand at Rs. 11,449.51 crore which includes losses of Rs 5,226.95 core due to non-release of subsidy by the Centre and State Govts and Rs 6,222.56 crore due to MSP operations. He informed that the Central Government, as of 31st October 2023, owes Rs 4,256 crore. He said that he would take up the matter with Union Minister Piyush Goyal during his visit to New Delhi on Wednesday. He said that the situation needs to be improved by taking some immediate, short-term, and long-term measures. He hinted at overhauling the entire functioning of the department. He said a decision in this regard would be taken after discussing it with the Chief Minister.

Elaborating on the Mahalaxmi Scheme to provide gas cylinders for Rs 500 as part of six guarantees, Uttam Kumar Reddy said that details of an exact number of beneficiaries were still being worked out and soon a new system would be evolved to implement the scheme. He said that the scheme might cost about Rs 3,000 – 4,000 crore per annum to the State’s exchequer.

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Uttam Kumar Reddy slammed the previous BRS Govt for mishandling all the departments. “The Energy Department had accumulated debts of over Rs 81,000 crore while the Irrigation Dept had pending bills of nearly Rs 10,000 crore. Today we learned that the Civil Supplies Department had procured loans of over Rs 50,000 crore. Previous BRS Govt has ruined all the departments and corporations through financial mismanagement,” he said.

Earlier, during the review meeting, Uttam Kumar Reddy rebuked the officials for the delay in finalizing the accounts. He got furious when informed that the accounts for the financial year 2019-20 were yet to be prepared. Stating that the financial year 2023-24 is coming to a close, he slammed the officials for the huge delay in finalizing the accounts. He said that the increase in the cost of transportation in 2018 remained unclaimed till December 2023. He said that the Centre has a written stated policy that it was duty bound to bear the cost of procurement, transportation, gunny bag, labor, and wastage. Therefore, all those expenses should be claimed from the Centre.

He said that the corporation needs to work on increasing the storage capacity and ensuring the supply of quality rice to the beneficiaries. He said as against the purchase of nearly 130 LMTs of paddy, the milling is nearly 90-100 LMTs. Therefore, the milling and delivery of rice should be completed before the arrival of the next season.

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Civil Supplies Department Chairman V Anil Kumar and other senior officials were present in the review meeting.


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