Talks underway with rice-producing states for implementing ‘Anna Bhagya’ scheme: CM Siddaramaiah

05:45 PM Jun 17, 2023 | PTI |

Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Saturday said talks are underway with rice-producing states to procure the required quantity for his government’s ‘Anna Bhagya’ scheme, which promises additional 5 kilograms of rice for BPL families, and a decision will be taken soon regarding the implementation.


He said, while Telangana has expressed its inability, Chhattisgarh is ready to supply 1.50 lakh metric tonne — but the rate is a bit high, and the government will also be talking to neighbouring Andhra Pradesh.

“I spoke to Telangana Chief Minister day before yesterday, he got back yesterday after getting details. He said there is no availability of rice there. I have asked the Chief Secretary to speak to Andhra Pradesh. Chhattisgarh is ready to give 1.50 lakh metric tonne, but the rate is a bit high and transport cost is more,” Siddaramaiah said.

Speaking to reporters here, the Chief Minister said he has convened a meeting of officials to discuss and decide on the further action.
Responding to a question on a reported statement by BJP MLA B Y Vijayendra alleging that despite rice availability in Karnataka, the government was going to other states — to get commission, the Chief Minister said: “Ask him (Vijayendra) to get the rice supply done if it is available in the state. Is the rice available in his mill?”

Karnataka is talking to rice producing states after the central government allegedly stalled the sale of wheat and rice to state governments under the Open Market Sale Scheme (Domestic) (OMSSD), which prohibits the Food Corporation of India (FCI) from selling any additional rice to the state for its ‘Anna Bhagya’ scheme.


The Chief Minister and his cabinet ministers have alleged that the Centre discontinued the sale of wheat and rice under OMSS(D) for state governments, a day after the FCI that has large quantity of stocks had agreed to provide 2,08,425.750 metric tonne of rice to Karnataka at a rate of Rs 34 per kg.

Siddaramaiah and his ministers have accused the BJP-led government at the Centre of conspiring to “fail” the Congress administration’s poll guarantee by ensuring the state doesn’t get the required amount of rice for rolling out the scheme from July 1, as promised.

Accusing the Centre of showing “stepmotherly attitude” towards Karnataka, Food and Civil Supplies Minister K H Muniyappa today said they are doing politics in the supply of rice, which will be distributed among the poor, despite the state willing to purchase it at the cost fixed by the dispensation.

“They have large quantities of rice stock. They are ready to sell it through open tender, but not ready to supply it to the state government for distribution among the poor, and are doing politics on the issue,” he said.

Stating that the Karnataka government is doing all that is possible to arrange for rice to give it to the poor as guaranteed, the Minister said: “We are discussing with Telangana, Chhattisgarh, and other places. Our officials have gone there, once they come, I will get the report by this evening. By Monday, we will let you (media) know as to when rice can be supplied.”

“It may take time for transportation from other states. We had announced a date based on FCI assuring us to supply rice from the stock here. They have gone back on that assurance now,” he said. Once the state government makes arrangements for the required 2,28,000 metric tonne of rice, it will be distributed to the beneficiaries.


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