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Ministerial panel: Public Distribution System hike under consideration

New Delhi, Sep 2 (Calcutta Tube) Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar Thursday said the government is considering a hike in the quantity of foodgrains under the Public Distribution System along with an upgradation in the number of eligible Below Poverty Line (BPL) families.

‘The government is considering an overall increase in PDS including an upgradation in the number of eligible BPL families,’ Pawar told reporters here after a meeting of the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) on food.

Pawar also said the EGoM decided to release an additional 25 lakh tonnes of wheat and rice at BPL price to the states in the coming six months.

The EGoM on Food headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee discussed how to implement the Supreme Court order to distribute the foodgrains stocked in government warehouses to the poor for free instead of letting these rot.

The Supreme Court Aug 12 had asked the central government to consider the free supply of food grains to the poor instead of letting it rot in Food Corporation of India (FCI) warehouses.

The Supreme Court further reminded Pawar Tuesday that its ruling on rotting foodgrains was an ‘order’ and not a ‘suggestion’, as interpreted by the minister.

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