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January 14, 2015

Centre depriving Bengal of paddy, kerosene quota: Food Minister

Centre depriving Bengal of paddy, kerosene quota: Food Minister

State Food and Supplies Minister Jyotipriyo Mullick Tuesday, alleged that the Centre has deprived Bengal by reducing its quota of kerosene as well as withholding funds for procurement of paddy.

“I have taken up the matter with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and she has assured to send the state chief secretary to Delhi if required to expedite release of pending funds. We have already written to Union Food Minister, and an official of the Food and Supplies Department is now in Delhi to expedite the matter. The state food secretary is scheduled to leave for Delhi tomorrow,” said Mr Mullick.

He alleged that the Centre has failed to sanction Rs 11,049 crore that was meant for paddy procurement despite regular submission of utilisation certificates.

“Had we received the funds we could have completed procurement of 15 lakh metric-ton of paddy which in turn would have helped us meet our deadline of procuring 32.36 lakh metric-ton by March,” said Mr Mullick.

Reduction of kerosene quota

Speaking about the next instance of deprivation by the Centre, Mr Mullick said three days ago, the Centre had reduced Bengal’s quota of kerosene by 636 kilolitre whereby the present entitlement is 79,652 kilolitres.

“The quota of no other state has been reduced as much as Bengal. When the Trinamool Congress came to power the state’s quota was 80,292 kilolitres. The UPA II government had reduced it by 4 kilolitres but there has been a substantial reduction this time,” said Mr Mullick.

The sudden reduction will force ration shops to decrease the per person allotment, he said.