Distribution of Kerala’s ‘Alternative’ Sabari K Rice to Commence Despite Telangana’s Pricing Delay

Despite delays in negotiating the pricing with Telangana, the Food Department in Kerala is set to initiate the distribution of Sabari K Rice as an alternative to the Central Government’s Bharat Rice later this week. Priced between Rs 26-29, four varieties of rice will be supplied by selected vendors through a tender conducted by Supplyco. Two of these varieties will be available in 5 kg packs under the name Sabari K Rice at Supplyco outlets.

Initially, the Kerala government explored the possibility of sourcing K Rice from Telangana, where the Agriculture Department offered rice at Rs 30-35. A letter has been dispatched to the Telangana government, urging a reduction in the price. However, given the potential delay in decision-making and the looming possibility of election announcements, the state has opted to proceed with the distribution of rice procured through the Supplyco tender.

The strategic move to distribute K Rice is tied to the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, with political considerations playing a crucial role. The decision to explore alternatives was influenced by the acceptance of Bharat Rice by the Central Government at Rs 29. The government had initially anticipated sourcing rice from Telangana at a lower cost, around Rs 25-26, but is now awaiting a response from the Congress-led government in Telangana regarding the price reduction.

For ration card holders, the distribution plan involves selling Raw Rice/Pachari at Rs 26 and Karnataka ‘Jaya’ rice at Rs 29 in 5 kg packs, with a limit of two packets (10 kg) per card. Raw Rice/Pachari, referred to as Ponniari, is distributed under the name of Bharat Rice. It’s worth noting that Bharat Rice does not require a ration card and is transacted through mobile shops.

Food Minister GR Anil affirmed that the distribution of K Rice through Supplyco would proceed, emphasizing the government’s commitment to the initiative despite the ongoing negotiations with Telangana.

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