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Hyderabad, Dec 13 – Telangana Minister for Irrigation and Civil Supplies Capt N Uttam Kumar Reddy on Tuesday reiterated that the Congress Government in Telangana would implement the promises of giving Gas Cylinder for Rs 500 and bonus of Rs 500 per quintal for paddy — the two assurances among six guarantees , within 100 days promised during recent elections.

Addressing a press conference after holding a review meeting on the functioning of the Consumer Affairs, Food and Civil Supplies Department at Civil Supplies Bhavan here , Uttam emphasized the department’s crucial role in serving the state’s 2.9 crore population, particularly the underprivileged, through the Public Distribution System (PDS) and other programs.

It also handles the procurement of paddy from the farmers , he said that the department would play a crucial role in the implementation of two major guarantees assured by the Congress.
He said the he conducted a detailed review of the functioning of the Civil Supplies Department to get an overview of how these two guarantees could be implemented efficiently.

With regard to the new ration cards, the Minister said that as of today there are 89,98,546 Food Security cards in the Telangana State and nearly 11.02 lakh new applications are pending. Through PDS, a total of 6,47,479 cardholders are getting 6 kg of rice for free. However, he said of 6 kgs, five kg of rice is being provided by the Central Government under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana and the remaining 1 kg of rice is being provided by the State Government.

Nearly 11% of intended beneficiaries are not using their ration cards, the Minister said he would discuss the issue with Chief Minister Revanth Reddy and the State Cabinet would decide on the issue of new ration cards.
Uttam revealed that almost 90% of rice being provided by the Centre and State for Rs 39.02 per kg was not edible. The beneficiaries are selling away the poor quality PDS rice to dealers, idly-dosa units, poultry farms for as low as Rs 5 per kg. Therefore, the very purpose of supplying free rice to the poor through PDS is not being achieved.

He directed the Civil Supplies Department officials to conduct an in-depth study on the quality of rice being supplied to the ration card holders.
He emphasised improving the quality of PDS rice to the beneficiaries. “If the rice being given to the poor people is not edible, then the entire purpose is lost,” he said.

The Minister said also directed the officials to identify and rectify the lapses in the functioning of the corporation, especially in the management of IKP centres.
He said that the procurement from farmers should be transparent and prompt while ensuring immediate disbursal of money into their accounts.