Non-release of funds cripples Bengal TPDS

Our Bureau Kolkata | Updated on March 16, 2011

The targeted public distribution system (TPDS) in West Bengal is facing a crisis due to non-release of funds by the State government, according to West Bengal Joint Forum for PDS Dealers & Distributors.

In a statement issued here, Mr Biswambhar Basu, general secretary of the forum, complained that the State government had stopped releasing the subsidy amount citing the model code of conduct. The subsidy is applicable to additional and ad hoc Central allotment of rice for distribution to BPL (below poverty line) families at Rs 2 a kg. The non-release of subsidy is causing allotment to lapse in violation of the guidelines issued by the Supreme Court., Mr Basu observed.

Funds frozen

He added that the State government was not releasing funds for payment of government-approved enhanced commissions and transport rebates to dealers, distributors and wholesalers and the stock purchasing officials of the Food and Civil Supplies Department were not being able to purchase stocks at Central issue prices. This also leads to lapse of Central allotment of cereals. All these will cause total disruption in the TPDS in the State, Mr Basu said.

The forum, therefore, has appealed to the Chief Secretary, West Bengal, to intervene in the matter to prevent TPDS from collapsing. Similar appeals have also been sent to the Centre, the Chief Election Commissioner, the Chief Election Officer of West Bengal, the Chief Minister, Finance Minister and Food Minister, among others.

Published on March 16, 2011

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