New Delhi: The government on Thursday said it has not yet decided on supply of additional foodgrains to BPL families for the 2012-13.
"As for additional allocation for BPL families (for 2012-13), a decision will have to be taken in due course and necessary allocation will be made to all states," an official statement said.
The decision on allocation of regular quota of foodgrains for supply through the Public Distribution System (PDS) has already been taken on March 12 to all states, including West
Bengal, it said.
The Centre's clarification comes against the backdrop of West Bengal Food Minister Jyotipriya Mallick's statement that the Union government has stopped additional allocation of foodgrains to BPL category in West Bengal for 2012-13 fiscal.
"The Centre has not offered any additional allocation of foodgrain for the state for 2012-13 for below povery line (BPL), though it was offered to five other states," Mallick told reporters at the state secretariat in Kolkata.
"This step will hurt the peace process in the Maoist affected areas where we decided to supply additional foodgrains," he said, adding it would affect 20 lakh people from April 2012.
The Centre said the government has allocated a quantity of 37.63 lakh tonnes of foodgrains to West Bengal for the current year, against which the total lifting up to January, 2012 was 27.02 lakh tonnes.
It has also made additional allocation of 3.97 lakh tonnes for BPL families, of which the offtake by the state upto February 15, 2012 was 2.68 lakh tons, it said.
That apart, the Centre made an allocation of 2.59 lakh tonnes of rice and wheat for 11 poorest districts in West Bengal, which includes the Jangal Mahal area as well.
"The state government's lifting against the above allocation has been only 570 tonnes so far upto January, 2012," it noted.
The West Bengal government's request for one lakh tonne of rice for drought-relief was also agreed to and allocation was made in December, 2011, it added.