Saturday, Mar 08, 2003
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By Our Special Correspondent
In a letter to the Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, she demanded changes in the norms and schemes for foodgrains' allocation in view of the massive stocks.
She also urged the Prime Minister to act expeditiously on the Tenth Finance Commission's recommendations on setting up a national centre for calamity management. She said that because of the restrictions only 50 percent of the below poverty line (BPL) families could be covered. Also, only one member in a family could be provided employment, that too for only ten days a month.
The restrictions placed a great burden on States such as Rajasthan, which has been forced to reduce the employment provided through relief works.
Only 21 lakh tonnes had been allotted by the task force against the State's requirement of 42 lakh tonnes. She also questioned the purpose of the restrictions as the Centre had at its disposal more than four times the required level of foodgrains stock.
Referring to the impact of the restrictions on Chhattisgarh, Ms. Gandhi said the allocation of rice and funds were far below the State's projected requirement.
She wanted special treatment for the State because of it being a mono-crop State.
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