SRINAGAR: The government on Wednesday formally started distribution of rations in the state as per 2011 census.
An official handout issued here said the Minister for Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution (CAPD), Chowdhary Zulfkar Ali, marked the start of the new system by distributing rations to one Azad Ahmed of village Nagrota in Jammu’s Rajouri district.
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.
However, last month the state government, for the third time this year, announced to distribute rations to 99.47 lakh consumers listed under the 2011 census.
While marking the start of the enhanced distribution of rations in the state, Zulfkar said, “This significant move of the present dispensation has accomplished the most-cherished and long-pending demand of consumers of the state”.
With adoption of 2011 census figures, he said, additional 37 lakh persons are going to be benefited in the state. He complemented the people of Nagrota “for becoming part of the launch of this historic moment”.
“This is just a beginning of a series of reforms in the CAPD department and the government is contemplating to implement National Food Security Act besides digitisation of the entire procurement and distribution system,” he said.
Stating that accountability and transparency shall remain the operating principles of the department, the Minister said there is “no space” for pilferage in PDS.