SRINAGAR: After series of protests across the Kashmir valley against contentious National Food Security Act (NFSA), the Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution (CAPD) department is now planning to hold large scale campaigns to offset the negative image of the food act.
Newly-appointed CAPD director Peerzada Mushtaq told Kashmir Reader that the department will soon appoint District Grievance Redressal Officers to address concerns of people with regard to NFSA.
“Right now the responsibility of redressal is lying with the deputy commissioners but soon we will appoint dedicated food officers,” Mushtaq said.
In order to ensure a transparent implementation of NFSA, CAPD will appoint vigilance committees in every district to oversee implementation of the food act.
“The department has to train its own officials first and make them fully aware about the nuances of the act. Then, accordingly these officers have to disseminate the information to the public and make sure there is no confusion,” Mushtaq added.
The State Consumer Redressal Forum has been established to oversee NFSA implementation but it has remained defunct for the last five months. However, Mushtaq said, the food department will soon appoint an indigenous agency to supervise the food act.
In an endeavor to bring clarity on NFSA, the department is also joining hands with the civil society especially by roping-in clerics and Imams of mosques who could quell people’s anger and resentment about the law.
“The NFSA has a provision of conducting social audit which will be made possible by conducting awareness camps about NFSA in every district. In addition, we are preparing pamphlets in Urdu as to get rid of the confusion among people about NFSA,” he said.
However, an official from the department on the condition of anonymity said there is chaos prevailing in the department with regard to implementation of the food act.
“There is no streamlining of resources for implementation of NFSA in the state as the implementing agency itself is in dark about the food act,” the official said.