17 items in Onam kit: Minister

The State government will issue special provision kits containing 17 items through ration shops for Onam, Minister for Food and Civil Supplies G.R. Anil has said.

The distribution would incur an additional liability of ₹500 crore to the State government, he said here on Friday.

This year, cardamom, ghee, cashew nuts, raw rice and ‘sarkara varatti’ would be included in the kits in response to a request by farmers, public sector institutions and cooperative organisations, Mr. Anil said.

The government had first issued free kits in April 2020 as part of ensuring food security during the COVID-19 pandemic. Provision kits containing 12 items were distributed through ration shops during the Onam season in 2020.

Subsequently, kits were distributed from September 2020 through June 2021. So far, the government had spent ₹5,600 crore on the distribution of around 10 crore kits, the Minister said.

Around 85 lakh ration card holders have benefited from the step, according to him. He lauded the efforts taken by the Kerala State Civil Supplies Corporation (Supplyco) in putting together the kits.

The Food and Civil Supplies Department would open Onam markets during August, although it would be a low-key affair given the COVID-19 situation, he said. Ten-day markets will be operated in all district centres as part of this programme.

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