For the third time this year, JK announces increase in food-grains distribution from next month

SRINAGAR: The government on Friday announced that it is going to provide rations to an additional 6.70 lakh families in the state from next month.
“The government has decided that from September 1, 2015, ration would be provided on existing-prevalent scale to uncovered/additional families worked out after taking into account the authenticated lists provided by the Deputy Commissioners of all the districts of the state,” the Minister for Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution (CAPD), Choudhary Zulfkar Ali, said in a press conference in Jammu.
Despite an increase in number of families from 18.2 lakh in 2001 to 22.3 lakh in 2011, the state continues to receive food-grains as per previous census even as New Delhi is allotting increased allocations for additional below poverty line families on stopgap arrangement.
The government of India has made clear that unless NFSA was implemented, the state will not get food grains as per 2011 census. It has asked the 25 states, which has so far resisted implementation of NFSA, to complete the necessary formalities and implement the act by September end.
As per the government of India, allocation of food grains under Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) is made to the states which have implemented the Act.
While the J&K state has not implemented the Act, it is being hitherto allocated food grains as per census population of 2001 at 35 kg per family per month for the Below Poverty Line (BPL), Antodaya Anna Yogna (AAY) as well as Above Poverty Line (APL) families. Earlier this year, the state government announced to provide rations in the state as per 2011 census, with the state itself to manage the deficit. Initially, July was set as the deadline for the enhanced distribution, but the state later extended it to August.
The Friday’s announcement is government’s third so far this year. The minister said the government is presently distributing rations to 99.47 lakh consumers.
“As per census 2011, the estimated population of the state is 125 lakh. As per the survey conducted by Deputy Commissioners the projected population has been worked out to 136 lakh,” he said.
“Presently there are 18.02 lakh ration-ticket holders. Now the ration-ticket holders, as per the fresh survey, are 24.72 lakh families and the state government is going to provide ration to 6.70 lakh additional families,” he said.
He said the state’s total requirement of food-grains as on date is of 7.56 lakh MTs. An additional 2.81 lakh MTs are required for the uncovered families, he said.
“On account of increase in population from 2000 to 2015, the total requirement of the food-grains for the state will be 10.38 lakh MTs, while the procurement cost will increase from Rs 474 crores to Rs 647.32 crore,” he said.
“There will be additional requirement of Rs 54.50 crore on account of handing and transport charges. The total requirement of funds for providing rations as per the fresh survey will be Rs 701.82 crore,” he said.
The funds for the purpose will be provided under the State Plan, he said.
Zulfkar said the distribution would take place under the close supervision of CAPD Directors for Kashmir and Jammu regions.
“Necessary instructions in this regard have already been issued to both the Directors for effective implementation,” he said.