In a statement, the AIADMK leader said that Tamil Nadu is practising Universal Public Distribution System (UPDS) under which the provisions like rice, wheat, dhal and other materials are procured by the government and distributed to the public at fair price shops. But, the Central Food Security Act has provisions under which the State governments are advised to move towards a targeted Public Distribution system where those considered above the poverty line or well off should be eliminated from the public distribution system.
There are terms and conditions prescribed under the National Food Security Act under which the total number of beneficiaries in urban areas should be less than 50 per cent and the beneficiaries in rural areas should be less than 75 per cent. The income details data collection by the food department through seeded Aadhar numbers give me an understanding that the State is planning to reduce the number of beneficiaries based on the income details, he said.
"An income taxpayer may have several dependents with weak financial conditions. Without exploring those facts an effort to reduce the numbers of beneficiaries based on income and income tax details will affect the public. Several employees are working under state and central government departments paying income tax, but they are at the lower grade of employment. The move by the State will affect several such families," OPS said. The State should leave the issue to the public and campaign inviting the public who are well off to surrender their ration card provisions. Trying to impose the provisions of the Food Security Act without understanding will have adverse effects on the public, OPS noted seeking the intervention of Chief Minister M K Stalin in this regard, the statement added.