Chhattisgarh not to execute cash subsidy scheme: CM

Press Trust of India New Delhi | Updated on November 18, 2011 Published on November 18, 2011

Chhattisgarh on Friday opposed the Centre's cash transfer scheme to poor families and made it clear it will not implement it in the State.

“I have strongly opposed it. I am against the provision of cash transfer. It is not in favour of poor people. It is against the nation and administration. I do not want any such policy in the country,” the Chhattisgarh Chief Minister, Mr Raman Singh, said.

Strongly opposing the system under which the poor will get direct subsidy in cash, he said, “If you have to do cash transfer then there is no need to introduce Food Safety Act.

Like you give money to Below Poverty Line (BPL) families or through old age pensions and in widow pension, similarly you can add this amount (cash subsidy) and give it. Then, there is no need for the Food Safety Act.” Mr Singh, whose Government runs a large online PDS monitoring scheme, has written a letter to Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh and Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission, Mr Montek Singh Ahluwalia, opposing the cash transfer proposal and some of the provisions in the Centrally-run schemes and asked for ways to strengthen them.

“I have written to the Prime Minister and Mr Ahluwalia. I have said it is your compulsion that you cannot make a system for it (providing cash subsidy) and you have to decide on its solution. But I will not do cash transfer as the State government is already providing a subsidy for it,” Mr Singh, a member of Planning Commission's working group on food and public distribution, said.

In his letter, Mr Singh said, “Cash subsidy model will adversely affect procurement of foodgrain at Minimum Support Price from farmers and also create problems of availability of foodgrain in Scheduled (tribal sub- plan) areas, among other complications,” Mr Singh said.

He has suggested ways to strengthen PDS system through computerisation and bringing reforms in storage system for food articles.

Published on November 18, 2011
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