Kerala launches Sabari K-Rice to counter sale of Union govt’s Bharat Rice

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said under the Sabari K-Rice initiative, rice procured at ₹40 per kg is being sold at ₹29/30.

ByDileep V Kumar

Published Mar 14, 2024 | 9:05 AMUpdatedMar 14, 2024 | 9:06 AM

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurating the launch of K-Rice in Thiruvananthapuram. (Supplied)

The Kerala government on Wednesday, 13 March, launched the Sabari K-Rice to combat the sale of the Union government’s ‘Bharat Rice’.

Under the ‘Sabari K-Rice’ initiative, Jaya rice will be sold ₹29 a kilogram through Supplyco outlets, while kurua and matta variants will be sold at ₹30 per kg.

Inaugurating the state-level distribution of K-Rice at Thiruvananthapuram, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan accused the Centre of selling ‘Bharat rice’ at a price higher than its procurement cost.

Accusing the Centre of being profit-oriented, the chief minister stated that Bharat Rice was not subsidised.

“The Centre buys it for ₹18.59 per kilogram and then sells it to the public at ₹29. The same rice was earlier provided through Supplyco at ₹24 and through ration shops at ₹10.90. The motive behind selling Bharat Rice directly to consumers is for profit and political gains,” he alleged.

He added that the state was selling K-Rice, procured at ₹40 per kg, at a subsidised rate of ₹29/30.”

The Centre launched the sale of Bharat Rice in February. According to the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Bharat Rice in five and 10 kilograms packs would be available at all outlets of Kendriya Bhandar, National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED), and National Cooperative Consumers’ Federation of India (NCCF) at an MRP of ₹29/kg.

It would be later expanded to other retail outlets and e-commerce platforms.

Also Read: Experts at Kerala meet say fortified rice key to address malnutrition in India

‘Welfare Objective’

The chief minister said the state government was carrying out effective market intervention in food grain supply with the welfare of the people in mind.

“This shows the difference in approach of the two governments,” Vijayan said.

“The state is getting a meager share of food grains now. But, the Centre wants to slash it further. The Centre’s interventions are wrong,” he said.

Edited by Majnu Babu.