Kozhikode: Minister for food and civil supplies, GR Anil informed that the government has not completely cancelled free food kit distribution in the state. He added that if situation demands, the government will resume kit distribution.
“We cancelled the free food kit distribution as the pandemic crisis is under control," pointed out the food minister.
Earlier, the minister had declared that the government is stopping the kit distribution. Though the government didn’t announce the final decision, it is learnt that the government has taken a stance to discontinue it.
The finance department also informed the civil supplies department that continuing free kit distribution will be a major challenge amid ongoing financial crisis.
Amidst this, the civil supplies department proposed to continue food kit distribution to BPL families as the COVID-19 spread continues in the state. But in the file related to the allocation of funds for food kits, the additional chief secretary of the finance department declared that continuing free food kit distribution is not practical. Hence, the cabinet is less likely to consider the matter.
Earlier, the CM also declared that food kit distribution will not be carried out for a long time. Following this, the government discontinued the distribution. As opposition and other parties used this move as a political weapon, the food minister changed his stance.
The LDF government started the free food kit distribution during April-May in 2020 amid the COVID outbreak. It gained more attention as a public welfare programme. Even people with high income purchased the kit from ration shops. It also helped the LDF government to retain power in the assembly elections.
The government distributed around 11 crore kits. An average amount of Rs 350-400 crore was spent per month for the free food kit. Rs 5200 crore was spent for 11 crore kits.