Thiruvananthapuram: CPI-M Saturday asked the UDF government to strike a fresh agreement with the Centre to protect the statutory rationing system prevailing in the state since the 1960s.
"The central legislation does not encompass all those who are entitled to food security cover. This has resulted in a big loss to Kerala, where universal rationing system has been in force since the mid-1960s. So it is important that the state enter into a fresh contract for continuance of the statutory rationing system," CPI-M state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan said in a statement.
He said it was regrettable that the UDF government had failed to grasp the seriousness of the situation and act swiftly to avoid the long-term risk awaiting the state.
"Kerala continues to be an acutely food-deficit state whose annual rice production is just sufficient to feed the people for 45 days and the supply is being largely maintained through the PDS allotments," the CPI(M) leader said.
Under the new food regime, BPL families in the state would get less quantum of food grain than what they had already been getting under the existing rationing system, he said.
Similarly, there was no guarantee that benefits enjoyed by APL families would continue, he said citing statistics.
"In effect, the food security prevailing in Kerala since the introduction of statutory rationing in 1965 has virtually ceased to exist with the passage of the legislation by the Lok Sabha," he added.