PM to hold meetings on key agriculture issues
Food and Consumer Affairs Minister KV Thomas, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and PMEAC Chairman C Rangarajan will attend the meeting.
New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is likely to hold a meeting on Wednesday to discuss supply of about 15 million tonnes of extra foodgrains to ration card holders that will help the government to create more storage space for new crops before monsoon.
Food and Consumer Affairs Minister KV Thomas, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and PMEAC Chairman C Rangarajan will attend the meeting, sources said.
The Prime Minister will hold another meeting to sort out objections raised by Pawar on issues related to export of farm commodities like sugar, cotton and milk products. Besides Thomas, Pawar and Rangarajan, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma is likely to attend this meeting.
The high-level meeting has been postponed twice.
"Two meetings are scheduled for tomorrow. One on foodgrains management, and the other on sugar and other exports," sources said.
They added that the Food Ministry has worked out a plan to distribute 14.5 million tonnes of foodgrains to ration card holders and offload another 2.5 million tonnes in the open market. The ministry has proposed to incentivise wheat export.
Sources said the Food Minister KV Thomas wants to discuss these proposals, which the panel of ministers had rejected, with the Prime Minister as it involved huge subsidy burden.
Out of 14.5 million tonnes for ration card holders, the ministry has proposed distribution of 8 million tonnes of additional foodgrains to BPL families, 6.5 million tonnes to APL families.