Two months after dealing with reduced wheat allocation after the Centre replaced it with the same amount of rice, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh have sought a review of the allocation policy.

Raising the issue at a State Food Ministers’ conference on Tuesday, Gujarat Food Minister Nareshbhai Patel sought the change in allocation policy as many beneficiaries particularly in Saurashtra and north Gujarat are finding it difficult to accept rice in place of wheat.

“We have sought allocation of 3 kg wheat and 2 kg rice per person whereas we get 2 kg wheat and 3 kg rice. Until April, the allocation was on the basis of 3.5 kg of wheat and 1.5 kg of rice per person,” said a Gujarat government official.

‘Need more wheat’

The Centre had cut monthly allocation from 1.12 lakh tonne (lt) of wheat to 43,144 tonnes and replaced the same quantity with rice for May-September period under the free foodgrains scheme of PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) for Gujarat. Also from 1.19 lt of wheat under National Food Security Act (NFSA) was reduced to about 82,000 tonnes by replacing the same reduced quantity with additional allocation of rice during June-March (2022-23) period.

Similarly, Uttar Pradesh saw a total deduction of 6.06 lt of wheat per month under both schemes, though same volume of rice was also allocated, leading to massive dissatisfaction among people in western region where the preference is for roti and not chawal said an official of the state. “There is simply no wheat under PMGKAY for UP which should have been decided after consulting with our government,” the official said.

‘No surplus’

However, a top official in the union food ministry expressed helplessness in addressing the allocation as it has been made uniformly for all States. “When there is no surplus stock with Central Pool, where will the wheat come from,” he asked. But the State government officials are confident that the Centre will partially restore the allocation soon since the issue has been taken very seriously by the chief minister.

Madhya Pradesh had also last week reportedly wrote to the Centre for restoration of wheat allocation amid the on-going local body election in the State. The Centre had cut monthly quota of 2.13 lt of wheat by replacing the same volume with rice for Madhya Pradesh under both PMGKAY and NFSA.