Jyotipriya Mullick, West Bengal's Minister for Food and Supplies says the purpose of setting up the Food Corp of India to provide cereals and pulses at subsidised rates to the people would be defeated since beneficiaries could use the cash for other purposes than food
Kolkata: After Odisha and Tripura, West Bengal has also opposed the Centre's direct cash transfer to bank accounts of beneficiaries claiming it would lead to breakdown of the existing public distribution system and closure of the Food Corporation of India (FCI), reports PTI.
"The basic objective of the public distribution system to arrest hunger among the poor will be defeated if the beneficiaries are provided cash instead of cheap food leading to closure of the Food Corporation of India," Minister for Food and Supplies Jyotipriya Mullick said.
He said that the purpose of setting up the FCI to provide cereals and pulses at subsidised rates to the people, would be defeated since beneficiaries could use the cash for other purposes than food.
"The decision is wrong. FCI will close down if cash transfer is implemented," he said.
Noting that only 24% of the population in the state have Aadhaar numbers, he said, "How can it be possible when a large number of people in West Bengal do not have Aadhaar?"
Earlier, Odisha Food minister PK Deb had dubbed the step as impractical saying many people in his state did not have bank accounts.
Tripura Food and Civil Supply minister Manik De had said that he had written to the Food and Public Distribution Minister KV Thomas to withdraw the proposal and clarify how the new system would help the poor.
Bihar government has decided not to keep its cash with these 13 banks, who failed to obtain a minimum of 25 marks out of 100 on the basis of performance on priority sector, agriculture credit, KCC and credit-deposit ratio
Patna: Penalising for non-performance in loan disbursal in priority and agriculture sectors, Bihar government has cracked whips against 13 public and private sectors banks and decided against depositing its cash with these banks, Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi said, reports PTI.
"Disbursement of loans in priority and agriculture sectors and Kisan Credit Cards (KCC) has been found to be poor by 13 banks as they failed to obtain a minimum of 25 marks out of 100 on the basis of performance on four parameters - priority sector, agriculture credit, KCC and credit-deposit ratio", Modi said.
It was decided that the state government would not keep its cash with these 13 non-performing banking institutions till further orders, the said.
The black listed banks are Punjab National Bank, ICICI Bank, Andhra Bank, Bank of Maharashtra, Punjab and Sindh Bank, Vijaya Bank, Federal Bank, Jammu and Kashmir Bank, South Indian Bank, ING Vaishya Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Bombay Mercantile Cooperative Bank and Tapeshwar Urban Cooperative Bank.
Modi, who holds the finance portfolio said the largest public sector bank SBI had been asked to improve disbursal of credit in the designated sectors as it had just made the cut by obtaining 28 marks out of 100 following review of its performance.
The deputy chief minister, however, lauded five banks - Bank of India, Allahabad Bank, HDFC Bank, UCO Bank and Canara Bank - for its overall performance in disbursal of loans in designated sectors, but said these banks must further improve their lending rate in all four sectors being assessed by the state government on half-yearly basis.
The next review of the banks' performance about loan disbursal will be done in April 2013, he said.
Watch the lows of last week for a possibility of a further decline