Shibu Soren at the meeting of chief ministers in New Delhi on Saturday. (PTI)
Ranchi, Feb. 6: Chief minister Shibu Soren today demanded more FCI warehouses and rail terminals, to improve foodgrain supply through PDS outlets.
Soren also stressed on additional foodgrain supplies for fulfilling the demands of poor families who at present did not figure in the BPL list.
Addressing the chief minister’s conference in Delhi, Soren decried the fact that Jharkhand had FCI godowns in only 17 districts. To compound problems, there were only nine rail terminals in the state which were used for transporting foodgrains.
Soren said over 5.12 lakh BPL families were not getting foodgrains at subsidised prices. Worse, the state was also reeling under drought. And, as the state government had decided to revise the BPL list, special assistance from the Centre was the need of the hour.
Today’s meeting was convened by the Prime Minister to discuss ways and means to check price rise. Soren said the government had to make honest efforts to fight spiralling prices.
He informed that the Jharkhand government was already giving Rs 40 subisidy on LPG cylinders. It had also waived VAT on imported sugar.
Soren said to improve foodgrain supplies, a doorstep delivery system had been introduced. Over 7,876 women’s self help groups had been given licences to run PDS outlets. The “identified” BPL families were being given foodgrains free of cost.
The commission for PDS outlet owners had been doubled, the chief minister said. Over 1.45 BPL families were being covered by the Annapurna Yojana and another 9.17 lakh families were being covered by the Antyoday Yojana.
To improve storage facilities, godowns with storage capcity of 250 tonnes were being set up at block headquarters and godowns with storage capacity of 1,000 tonnes were coming up in the districts.
“But, the state badly needs more FCI godowns with storage capacity of 5,000 tonne,” the chief minister said.
He argued that Jharkhand’s efforts to check price rise wouldn’t be effective, unless the Centre extended due support.
He urged the Prime Minister to immediately give necessary directions to the rail minister and Union food and civil supplies minister in this regard.