New Delhi: Basmati rice cannot be added to the list of 22 food items under the Essential Commodities Act (ECA), and it was also not feasible for the central government to provide pulses through the Public Distribution System (PDS), union Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said on Tuesday.

“Good people eat Basmati rice… rich people eat it… So there is no provision of adding Basmati to the list of 22 food items which comes under ECA,” Paswan said while replying to supplementaries during Question Hour in the Lok Sabha.

Akali Dal member Chandumajra had sought to know from the government whether it has any plan to add Basmati rice to the list.

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Paswan said the government was working in that direction so that it could provide some nutritious food through PDS.

“It’s a fact than we are not providing anything nutritious to the people through PDS but the government is working on how to provide something nutritious to them,” he said.

Paswan also said that providing pulses through PDS was not feasible.

“As far as adding pulses to the PDS list is concerned, recently we had a meeting in the ministry… it does not seem feasible,” he said.

However, some states provide pulses through PDS.

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