Bhubaneswar, Aug 22
Holding the Planning Commission responsible for the miseries of poor people across the country including Odisha, state Food Minister P K Deb today said in the State Assembly that FIRs should be filed against the plan panel.
Deb said this while replying to an adjournment debate on distribution of 25 kg of rice to BPL families instead of the Centrally stipulated 35 kg per month per family.
“FIRs should be filed against the Planning Commission, which has failed to define poverty. Poor people suffer and are deprived of different benefits due to lack of proper definition of poverty,” said Deb rejecting the allegation made by the opposition Congress.
Congress has filed FIRs in all police stations of Odisha against the state government accusing it of misappropriating 10 kg of rice per BPL family per month.
Deb said, “The poor families should instead file FIRs against the Planning Commission. The plan panel is the real culprit,” the minister said.
Admitting that the state government has been distributing 25 kg of rice and not 35 kg a month, he said, “The Centre allocates cheap rice at the rate of 35 kg per month for only 27.76 lakh families while the state government gives 25 kg rice per month to 42.2 lakh poor families.”
Through a door-to-door survey in 1997-98, the state government identified 48.58 lakh BPL families and provided them with ration cards. However, the central government accepted only 32.98 families as BPL basing on the Planning Commission’s Lakhadwala Committee report. Accordingly, the Centre reduced the PDS quota for the state, Deb said. (PTI)