Rapped sharply by the Supreme Court for allowing foodgrains to rot, the government is considering targeted distribution of additional stock of foodgrain at cheap rates to relieve the pressure on the Food Corporation of India (FCI) godowns. (See: SC blasts Pawar for ignoring free grains order)
An empowered group of ministers (eGoM) under finance minister Pranab Mukherjee is to meet today to approve the centre's counter-affidavit in the Supreme Court on creation of additional storage facilities to prevent foodgrain from rotting in the open FCI godowns.
The meeting will also discuss the court's Tuedsay ruling as also that of 12 August in which it had called on the centre to consider free supply to the poor instead of letting it rot in godowns (See: Don't let grain rot, give it free to the poor: SC)
According to sources, the eGOM may, as an immediate step revisit the proposal to expand coverage of Below Poverty Line beneficiaries so that the additional foodgrain can be give to them.
The apex court had clarified on Wednesday that its direction to the centre on distribution of food grains to the poor was not merely a suggestion but an order. Agriculture minister Sharad Pawar told parliament that the government wouild honour the decision of the Supreme Court. Pawar had earlier said the reports on food grain rotting in godowns were quite exaggerated.