New Delhi:  To eliminate the distinction between Above Poverty line and (APL) and Below Poverty Line (BPL) consumers, the Central government is planning to provide grains to APL cardholders as well at a cheaper price of Rs 3/kg.

According to reports, consumers sans ration cards will also be able to buy grains from ration shops at the same rate at which the government purchases from farmers.

A high level committee constituted in wake of the Food Security Bill has prepared a draft for amendment in the rationing system.  The draft intends to cement the gap between the APL and the BPL consumers.

Union Food Minister KV Thomas said the number of such families which would avail this opportunity would be about 7-8 crores , adding the Planning Commission and the Food Ministry are thinking seriously in this regard.

However, the decision would only be taken after the recommendations of the Chief Ministers’ committee constituted on the directions of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Thomas added.

It may be noted, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia is heading the Chief Ministers committee which will meet in the second week of May and probably take a final decision on this issue.

The most important aspect of the scheme is that so far those consumers who were unable to avail the facility of buying foodgrains from ration shops would also be able to purchase 35 kg grains every month on the minimum support price.

Currently, the support price of wheat and rice is Rs 11.70 and Rs 16.70 per kg respectively, while market price of these grains is quite high.

JPN/Bureau