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Forward Bloc demands unified public distribution system

Posted on Dec 15, 09:36PM | IANS

Arguing that the Congress-led UPA government's decision to give cash transfers instead of subsidy will do more harm than good, the Forward Bloc Saturday demanded a unified public distribution system (PDS) without dividing people on the basis of poverty level.

"The cash transfer scheme is a desperate move by the Congress which has lost all credibility to govern the country. The Congress thinks the measure will bring it votes, but the new move will do more harm than good," Bloc general secretary Debabrata Biswas told mediapersons here.

"The new scheme in fact is an attempt to withdraw subsidy in a phased manner and to dismantle the existing PDS. The money will seldom reach the beneficiaries and even if it reached (them) it would be used for other purposes than food, threatening the food security of the country."

He said the government must introduce a unified PDS across the country to ensure food security. Unlike the existing system it should not divide the beneficiaries into above and below poverty line, he added.

The United Progressive Alliance has announced introduction of the Aadhar-card (Unique Identification)-based direct cash transfer scheme for an effective social safety net.

Reiterating his party's position of opposing foreign investment in retail, Biswas said the Forward Bloc would continue its opposition and whip up a countrywide movement against it.

The party also urged the central and the state governments to declare Jan 23, the birthday of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, as "Deshprem Divas" to inculcate patriotism among the younger generation.