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     Raipur, August 2, 2009: The Centre has agreed to provide rice to Chhattisgarh instead of Wheat under the Public Distribution System, officials said.

      On request of the Chief Minister Dr Raman Singh the Union Food and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar has agreed to provide rice in place of wheat to Chhattisgarh as the people of the state are predominantly rice consumers, officials said today.

     Because of a different eating habit, a huge amount of wheat has been left stocked in various godowns of the state as the Centre is giving about 10,000 tonnes of wheat every month to the state under the PDS, they pointed out.

     Citing those reasons the Chief Minister had urged the Union Food Minister to reconsider allotment of wheat to Chhattisgarh and the Union Minister had agreed to that, he said.

     The Chief Minister had also urged the Centre to release Rs 1,390 crore payment, due from the Centre for procuring foodgrain for the Central pool for the financial year 2008-2009, they said.

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