GoI asks Puducherry to buy local rice for PDS; to scrap DBT

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NEW DELHI: The DBT of food subsidy in Puducherry will be disbanded soon as GoI on Thursday asked Chief Minister V Narayanasamy to make foolproof arrangements for local buying of single boiled rice for PDS.
This was communicated by India’s Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan in a meeting here.
The Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) for subsidised foodgrain in Puducherry, Chandigarh and Daman and Diu was rolled out in 2015. But Puducherry faced certain problems after two-and-half years of implementation.
In April, the centre gave ‘in-principle’ nod to Puducherry to go back to the earlier system of procurement and distribution and asked it to make arrangements as the state-run FCI does not procure or make single boiled rice.
“There was drought for last last two years. People in our state eat single boiled rice. In the meeting, I asked the union food minister to help in this regard,” Narayanasamy told reporters after the meeting.
The union territory requires 45,000 tonne of single boiled rice to meet the demand of its ration card holders. The early system of distribution (PDS) will be implemented from next month, he added.
As per a senior food ministry official, the chief minister informed in the meeting that the UT will procure single boiled rice locally.
“Once the physical distribution begins, the DBT will be disbanded,” the official said.
The chief minister has been asked to submit a proposal giving details of foolproof arrangements of local procurement and tagging of beneficiaries to the PDS shops, he said.
It be may noted that Puducherry has no ration shops and no tagging of beneficiaries since implementation of DBT in the UT.