Jammu Tawi, December 19
Cashing in on the National Food Security Act (NFSA) forms in Jammu and its peripheries, dealers in the area are making a quick buck by selling a photocopied set of the forms to citizens for Rs 2-Rs 10 each.
People from different locations of the Jammu region complained with Newspoint that the NFSA form, which is supposed to be free of cost is being distributed at Rs 2 – Rs 10 and the dealers are saying that they are themselves paying for forms.
The government has maintained that 22.73 lakh families, comprising 119.13 lakh souls, were to be covered under the National Food Security Act in the state and the Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution Department with the help of the District Development Commissioners concerned was in the process of creating a comprehensive database in this regard.
In ward No. 9 of RS Pura, people complained that they are being charged with Rs 5 per form.
“We are not that educated to comprehend the government scheme in its totality. We do what concerned officials ask us to do. They are charging us Rs 5 per form, which I heard is being distributed free of cost,” said an old lady.
Similar reports were coming from Jammu West, Magowali, Bhori and other city areas.
“We resented the concerned depot owner about the cost of form, which government claims to be distributed free of cost. They rebuffed our resentment and directed us to visit government itself to have free of cost,” said an aggrieved consumer at Magowali. He added that the depot owner claims that he is charging cost of Photostat.
In this regard, director CAPD-Chib said “The people should register written complaint with us, so that we can take action.”
He added that as a part of action, the department will terminate the license of the culprit, besides register an FIR against him for fleecing money of the poor people.
Talking to Newspoint, Minister of CAPD Choudhary Zulfikar said that these NFSA forms are free of cost and government does not charge even a penny for it.
“We have issued over 20 lakh forms free of cost and many of them have been successfully received in the concerned depots. If there is any such mal practice going on, I will personally take cognizance of it and direct the concerned officers to look into the matter,” he said and added that the guilty will have to face consequences.
He further said that some section of the society is hell bent to defeat this pro-poor scheme. “Some separatists are trying to sabotage this scheme by maligning it. The depots, which are charging money for forms are surely touts of these elements and we will fight them to make this scheme a success,” he added.