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Impasse over rice scheme ends as Pondy govt distributes cash

Press Trust of India  |  Puducherry 

Before the Centre could issue a direction to it on the free rice scheme, the Puducherry government has now started disbursing cash to the ration cardholders through their bank accounts.

There was a deadlock in the implementation of the scheme as the Lieutenant Governor of the union territory Kiran Bedi and its Chief Minister V Narayanasamy held differing views.

Bedi has been sticking to the stand that only cash should be given not rice, while Narayanasamy held the view that rice should be given and not cash.

The territorial assembly had also adopted a resolution in its recent budget session asserting that only rice be distributed and a copy of the resolution was handed over to Bedi by the ministerial team led by Narayanasamy.

With the Lieutenant Governor sticking to her stand, the issue was placed before the Centre for its guidance.

But now, the government started implementing the scheme without waiting for a direction from the Centre by adopting payment of cash to the cardholders.

The Puducherry Welfare and Cooperation Minister M Kandasamy, in a statement on Tuesday, said each of the APL families holding the 'yellow colour card' system was now paid Rs 300 for January this year through their bank accounts.

The families were entitled to 10 kg rice every month under the free rice scheme. With the government making a climbdown in its stand that only rice would be distributed instead of cash, each of the families having the yellow colour card was at present given Rs 300 which was equivalent to a quota of 10 kg they were entitled to.

The release said these families would be paid Rs 600 for February and March this year in due course of time.

Similarly, the BPL families with red colour cards would be paid Rs 600 for April this year in the next one month and this amount is equivalent to 20 kg of rice they were entitled to.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, September 17 2019. 18:10 IST