Srinagar: Although former chief minister Omar Abdullah and his successor Mufti Mohammad Sayeed have opposed the implementation of the National Food Security Act in the state, the consumer affairs and public distribution department says it has been “working on implementing it”.
Mufti had voiced his opposition to the Act in his recent address to the state legislature, while Omar had claimed that J&K was the only state where the bill would have “resulted in loss to the people, rather than benefiting them”.
According to the latest state Economic Survey Report, however, the CAPD believes that the Act is “a move in the right direction and provides an opportunity to improve our food distribution system”.
The Act, brought by UPA-II at the Centre, guarantees wheat and rice at Rs 2 and Rs 3 respectively for all eligible households.
“To arrive at reasonable criteria for exclusion or inclusion of the households, a basic economic survey of households is under process in the department. As soon as the survey is completed, the criteria for under NFSA 2013 will be notified,” reads the report tabled in state assembly recently.
In J&K, the implementation or otherwise of the Act has evoked mixed reaction with noted economist Prof Nisar Ali maintaining that the enactment of the law will benefit 27% of the state’s population that is Below Poverty Line, 15% of them destitute.
Former president Federation Chamber of Industries Kashmir Shakeel Qalandar favoured implementation of the bill but only if it covers the entire population.
While opposing the implementation of Act, Mufti told the assembly that adequate provisions of ration in all rural and semi-urban areas, even if on a no-profit and no-loss basis, will be ensured.
“Providing ration to far-flung areas and its equitable distribution to all is our priority and on our top agenda,” the chief minister had added.