Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Friday accused several states of taking subsidised PDS foodgrains and passing on to end users as their own, without giving any credit to the Centre.
He said this trend is apparent in 11 states, mostly in non-BJP ruled, that are trying to undermine the efforts of the central government in ensuring that no poor goes hungry.
Under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), the central government is providing foodgrains to states for distribution through Public Distribution System (PDS), also known as ration shops, at a subsidised rate of Rs 2/kg rice and Rs 3/kg wheat, costing over Rs 1 lakh crore annually to the exchequer.
"We are spending over Rs 1 lakh crore annually on subsidised PDS foodgrains distribution, but in several states there is no mention or credit given to the Union government," Paswan said at a virtual press conference.
There are 11 states which take subsidised foodgrains from the central government but are passing on to ration card holders free of cost or at further subsidised rates, he said.
Paswan said, "These states spend about Rs 10,000 crore from their pocket and pass it to end users as their own. This is wrong on their part. They should give due credit to the central government."
Out of 11 states, four states (West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka) are distributing grains at free of cost, while six states (Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha) are distributing rice at a further subsidised rate of Rs 1/kg and Tripura at Rs 2/kg rice via PDS, he said.
"We bear over 90 per cent procurement cost of the foodgrains, but the Government of India name is not given even in advertisements. They claim as if they are bearing the entire cost. The state governments should take note of this," he said.
The beneficiaries should be told that the subsidised grain is coming from the central government not only under the NFSA but also through newly launched Pradhan Mantri Garib Anna Yojana (PMGKAY), he added.