Food Security Act implementation from Feb 15

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Governor N.N. Vohra reviewed the status regarding implementation of National Food Security Act 2013 in Jammu and Kashmir from 15th February at a meeting held at Raj Bhavan today. The meeting was attended by B.R. Sharma, Chief Secretary; P.K. Tripathi, Principal Secretary to Governor and SaurabhBhagat, Secretary, Consumers Affairs and Public Distribution.

Chief Secretary informed the Governor that the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Government of India, had yesterday allocated 34090.94 tonnes of food grains under AAY and Priority categories under NFSA for distribution to entitled households from February 2016 onwards. The monthly allocation of food grains to the State includes 24017.07 tonnes of rice and 10073.87 tonnes of wheat which would be distributed to the AAY and Priority House Holds (PHH) at the rate of Rs 3 per kg and Rs 2 per kg, respectively. In addition, 28499.15 tonnes of food grains have been allocated for meeting the requirement of tide-over population comprising 20077.65 tonnes of rice and 8421.50 tonnes of wheat. This allotment has cleared the way for the implementation of NFSA from February 2016 onwards.

The Governor was informed that out of the estimated total 74 lakh beneficiaries under AAY/ PHH category, the department has already uploaded data in respect of 69.89 lakh beneficiary households in 19 districts who have 14.95 lakh ration cards. The Governor directed that the process in respect of Srinagar, Leh and Kargil districts should be completed on war footing basis.

Chief Secretary informed the Governor that the monthly allocation of food grains has been made by the Government of India after J&K reported successful completion of building up of the data bank in respect of the households in 19 districts covering  a population of about 1.15 crore. The data bank which has been created and hosted on the National PDS Portal for 19 districts can be accessed by any citizen and has drill-down capability all the way from District to Tehsil to Fair Price Shops, finally leading to the family unit. With the digitization of the data bank, the department will now migrate from the existing paper based ration ticketing system to a 24 digit e-ration ticket supported with bar codes and other authentication features. The scheme also envisages use of Aadhaar for eradication of all bogus ration cards.

The Governor directed that the Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution Department should ensure that adequate awareness is created about the new regime under which a large majority of the State’s population will be provided wheat and rice at highly subsidised rates of Rs. 2 and Rs. 3 per kilo, respectively. The Governor asked the Chief Secretary to draw up a detailed schedule for the distribution of ration tickets in various districts by a Committee of Officers in the presence of people of the area. The Governor also directed that Observers be also appointed to confirm that only genuine beneficiaries have been included under the various categories entitled to receive highly subsidized rations. Adequate publicity should also be made for giving adequate opportunity to people to point out any lacuna or deficiencies in the recording details of beneficiaries in the data base. The names of the Grievances Redressal Officers, along with full contact details for every District/ Tehsil, shall also be duly publicised. The Governor directed the Chief Secretary to undertake an intensive exercise to weed out all ineligible beneficiaries.

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