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Utilise Dawat-e-Iftar funds to feed the poor, Shabbir tells CM

Hyderabad: Former minister & ex-Leader of Opposition in Telangana Legislative Council Mohammed Ali Shabbir on Wednesday demanded that the State Government utilise funds allocated for Dawat-e-Iftar to feed the poor people in view of Coronavirus crisis.

“The State Government, in its budget for 2020-21, has earmarked Rs. 66 Crore towards Dawat-e-Iftar and another Rs. 1.83 crore towards Iftar/Dinner hosted by the Chief Minister.

In view of ongoing crisis, there is no possibility of holding Iftar parties at mosques across the Telangana State and it is not likely that the government might distribute clothes among poor.

Therefore, we request you to kindly utilise the amounts earmarked for Dawat-e-Iftar and Iftar Dinner to distribute ration kits among all the poor people, irrespective of their religion or caste,” Shabbir Ali said in an open letter to Chief Minister Chandrashekhar Rao.

Shabbir Ali said that the previous Congress Government had introduced a novel scheme ‘Amma Hastham’ wherein a ration kit comprising of nine essential items used to be supplied among poor people.

The kit comprised of 1 kg toor dal, 1 litre palm oil, 1 kg whole meal atta, 1 kg wheat, half kg sugar, 1 kg salt, quarter kg chilli powder, half kg tamarind and 100 grams turmeric powder. “We request you to kindly supply similar kits among poor.

Further, it has been customary for the State Governments since decades to provide additional 1 kg of sugar during Deepawali, Ramzan and other festivals. Therefore, we request you to supply additional 1 kg of sugar at free of cost to all the White Ration Card holders,” he demanded.

Stating that the Congress party fully supports the State Government’s initiatives in combat against Coronavirus, he pointed out the lockdown has shattered the economy and snatched away the livelihood of lakhs of daily wage earners, employees of both organised and unorganised sectors and other weaker sections.

“The Government of Telangana had given 12 kg rice per person and Rs. 1500 assistance to those having White Ration Cards. We regret to say that no assistance has been provided to other affected sections, including salaried and middle class. No compensation package has been announced for those who lost their jobs and those who are facing huge cuts in their salaries.

No relief, waiver or exemption has been given in payment of electricity, water and other utility bills. We request you to kindly consider announcing a comprehensive relief package covering all the affected sections of the society,” Shabbir Ali demanded. (INN)

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