New Delhi: The Centre’s efforts to distribute 50 lakh tonne foodgrain to people belonging to the economically weaker sections seems to have withered as the state governments could manage to lift only 4 lakh tonne foodgrain so far.

Replying to the discussion on the call attention motion moved by the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Union Minister of State for Food (Independent Charge) KV Thomas said the state governments’ sluggishness is the reason behind the paralysing of the ration system in the country.

Thomas assured the House that the Centre has prepared a scheme to build storage capacity of 1.50 crore tonne grain across 19 states. Out of which, the godowns would be constructed for the storage of 30 lakh tonne next year.

Earlier, the Opposition lashed out at the Centre for mismanagement of foodgrains and its failure to check leakage in the ration system.

Shiromani Akali Dal MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal said the government has to shell out Rs 23,000 in the lifting of foodgrains as it lacks in adequate number of godowns. She advised the government to provide subsidised grains to the needy.

Participating in the debate, Deputy leader of the BJP in the Lok Sabha, Gopi Nath Munde, advised the Centre to adopt scientific approach to store grains.

Earlier, the Supreme Court, in a related order in May, had directed the Centre to distribute foodgrains free of cost to the people belonging to the economically weaker sections if the government has surplus foodgrains, and which rots due to lack of proper storage.

JPN/Bureau