Alappuzha: The Centre rejected Kerala’s request to allot rice for free to supply to the flood and rain havoc victims. The Centre also did not consider the request to provide rice at Rs 3 per kg as per the National Food Security Act (NFSA).
Instead of this, the Centre informed that rice for minimum support price (MSP - Rs 26 per kg) can be provided. As this would cause financial crisis, the Department of Civil Supplies is waiting for the decision of the state government.
The government announced free ration in the disaster-hit areas expecting rice for free or per NFSA rate from the Centre. It was decided to supply 15 kg free rice for three months from August. But the supply has not started yet. About 46.88 lakh families in 1308 disaster-hit villages in the state are waiting for the free ration.
Mini Antony, secretary of State Food Department, said that according to the Centre’s criteria, the rice can be provided for MSP rate to only those affected with natural calamities. The Centre rejected Kerala’s demand pointing out this. She added that the free ration will be distributed from this month onwards.