UDHAMPUR: Minister for Food, Civil Supplies (FCS&CA) and Consumer Affairs and Information, Chowdhary Zulfkar Ali Saturday said that Government was determined to plug pilferage of food grain and for this a foolproof surveillance mechanism has been put in place at all levels through technology intervention as well as manual watch.
The Minister was speaking at an awareness camp on National Food Security Act (NFSA) & Mufti Mohammad Sayeed Food Entitlement Scheme (MMSFES).
The camp was attended by MLA, Udhampur, Pawan Kumar Gupta, MLA , Ramnagar, R.S Pathania , Director, FCS&CA Jammu R A Inqalabi besides senior functionaries and Ration dealers of the district.
Reiterating the government’s commitment to provide adequate supply of ration to the people of every region of the state, the Minister said that after NFSA, ration supply to Udhampur district has been increased from 25,000 quintals to 40,362 quintals. He said the number of BPL beneficiaries in the state has increased by 49 lakh taking the total number to 75 lakh.
Zulfkar said that Rs 735 cr is being spent on food grains annually for providing ration at affordable rates to the people.
Referring to the standing order by the government, the Minister directed the concerned officers and dealers to ensure the distribution of food grains to the public before 15th of every month. He said that ration must reach to the consumers on time and any laxity in this regard would be viewed seriously. Stressing on public welfare, he asked the concerned officials to maintain the quality and quantity of ration supply.
The Minister also assured that government will continue to provide sugar at subsidized rates to the rationees, even as centre has stopped to provide subsidy from this financial year. He said new ration depots are being opened for conveniences of the people, particularly in far flung areas. Meanwhile, during interactive session with officers and ration dealers, he redressed many issues raised by them. Describing ration dealers as face of the department, the Minister said that the department has decided to enhance their commission. “This will put additional burden of Rs 300 cr on state annually, but the decision has been taken for welfare of dealers,” he added.
He asked the dealers to work efficiently and ensure that the people do not face any problem in getting food grains in time. Asserting that the government’s main focus is on close monitoring, he said that apart from departmental surveillance the concerned MLAs have been urged to take cognizance if they find any official indulging in pilferage of food grains and recommend for taking action against the erring persons.
“To bring transparency in the working of the department, contribution from all quarters is necessary and that is being assured by the government,” the Minister asserted.