SHRI K. MURALEEDHARAN (CALICUT): Mr. Speaker Sir, an important news appeared in Malyalam newspapers last week that the Central Government proposes to withdraw subsidised sugar distribution through Public Distribution System. This decision was once implemented, if my memory is correct, in 1997 when the UF Government was in power. I would submit that it would severely affect lakhs of people of poor sections of the society, particularly in the State of Kerala.
The statutory rationing of substances to help the poor in support of their Fundamental Right is adequately guaranteed in the Indian Constitution itself. This move would also affect more than 14,000 ration shops in the State of Kerala. As this august House is well aware that sugar falls among the essential commodities and taking into account the very basic requirement, especially of the poorest of the poor in the society, the Centre should reconsider this proposal as it would go against the policy of the welfare State and also the Fundamental Right of the affected sections of the society.
If the Government is stopping the levy sugar system, the State Government will have to purchase sugar directly from the sugar factories. So, the price of sugar will be increased. Therefore, my humble request is that the present Public Distribution System should continue, especially in the State of Kerala.