Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday pulled up the Kamareddy district collector Jitesh Patil when the latter could not provide an answer to what was the Centre and the state’s share in the rice supplied through fair price shops.
Ms Sitharaman, who was attending various programmes in Zaheerabad Parliamentary Constituency as part of BJP’s ‘Lok Sabha Pravas Yojana’, also asked Collector Jitesh Patil why the picture of Prime Minister Narendra Modi was missing at the shop in Birkur as the Centre bears a lion’s share in the subsidised rice which is being sold at Rs 1 in the state to beneficiaries.
“The rice which is sold at Rs 35 in the open market was being distributed to people at Rs 1 here. How much is the state government bearing?” she asked the Collector.
She said the Centre is supplying the rice in PDS shops bearing all the costs, including logistics and storage, and was trying to get an answer whether that free rice is reaching the people or not.
Ms Sitharaman said approximately, the Centre bears Rs 30, the state government gives Rs 4, while Re 1 is collected from the beneficiaries.
She highlighted that, from March-April 2020, the Centre has been providing rice, priced at Rs 30-Rs 35, free of cost without the state government and the beneficiaries having to contribute anything.
When the official could not answer the question, the Union minister asked him to come up with an answer in the next 30 minutes.
“You think about it and within half an hour, again before my address to media (come up with an answer). So that I can tell them that even if the Collector could not answer my question immediately, he struggled and got the information,” she rebuked.
She alleged that when a request was earlier made to put up PM’s pictures also at the fair price shops in Telangana, it was not allowed. The BJP workers who came forward to put up the pictures were also not allowed, she claimed.
“I am telling you today. Our people will come and put up the PM’s banner here. You will, as the district administrator, ensure that it shall not be removed. That it shall not be torn,” she warned the Collector.
“If a banner is not there, I will come to this place again,” she said.
Under the Centre’s PM Garib Kalyan Yojana, the entire cost of 5 kilograms foodgrains given free is being borne by the Modi government, the Union minister said.
“Under NFSA, more than 80% of cost of foodgrains is borne by the Modi Govt. Is there any objection to poster/banner of PM Modi being displayed at ration shops? Smt @nsitharaman,” her office tweeted.
Earlier, some Congress workers tried to protest when the Finance Minister was on her way to Banswada. Police intervened and dispersed the group.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)