Food security act: J&K Govt receives 10 lakh applications

The Jammu and Kashmir government has so far received 10 lakh household applications for enrolment as beneficiary under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), which will be rolled out in the state on February 1 next year, with two more days left for submission of forms.

“Out of 22.05 lakh enrolment forms issued in the state for roll-out of the National Food Security Act (NFSA), around 10 lakh forms have been received by the government till date and people are coming forward in large numbers to get enrolled before December 18, the last date fixed for submission of forms,” Jammu and Kashmir Minister for Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution Choudhary Zulfkar Ali told here.

The minister said 22.73 lakh families comprising 119.13 lakh souls are to be covered under NFSA in the state and the CA&PD Department, with the help of district development commissioners, is in the process of creating a comprehensive database in this regard.

The government will take a holistic review of the whole enrolment exercise on December 18 and if the need arises, the last date for submission of enrolment forms could be extended to enable all deserving families to get enrolled for NFSA before its roll-out on February 1 next year, he said.

He said once the enrolment process is complete, the provisional enrolment lists would be made public for scrutiny so that discrepancies, if any, could be taken care of.

“Given the magnitude of the enrolment exercise being carried out simultaneously throughout the state, there are chances of errors and omissions,” he said and added that the same would be rectified by the authorities concerned before publishing the final list.

The minister said while under the existing dispensation only 18.02 lakh families comprising a population of 99 lakh are covered under the Public Distribution System (PDS) in Jammu and Kashmir, the implementation of NFSA will cover 22.73 lakh families comprising a population of 119.13 lakh.

He said while 13.73 lakh families comprising 74.13 lakh souls would get highly subsidised rations — atta at Rs 2 per kg and rice at Rs 3 per kg, another 7.85 lakh families comprising 45 lakh souls would get atta at Rs 8 per kg and rice at Rs 10 per kg.

He said every family member in these categories would be entitled to get 5 kgs ration per head, except 2.56 lakh families comprising 13.77 lakh souls in the Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) category who would continue to get 35 kgs ration per family, irrespective the number of family members.

The minister said a small chunk of population of around 6 lakh souls comprising persons with income of more than Rs 25 lakh per annum, persons holding constitutional positions including ministers and legislators, employees of the state and the central governments in the Gazetted cadre and a person owning more than 80 kanals of land individually or 250 kanals of land in joint family shall be kept out of NFSA.

He said for such families food-grains would be made available on OMSS (Open Market Sale Scheme) rates.

Accusing the opposition of playing deluding politics over the issue, the minister said that some political parties have launched a misinformation campaign on NFSA to mislead the people and bar them from taking benefit of this scheme.

“The people should not fall prey to any propaganda and should try to take benefit of this revolutionary scheme,” he said and added as the implementation of NFSA would go a long way in plugging pilferage in the existing public distribution system, the elements who were thriving on the loopholes in the system are also responsible for spreading rumour.

“Given the fact that implementation of NFSA shall usher an era of assured supply of highly subsidised rations to the citizens of J&K at their doorstep in a transparent manner, unfortunately, it is not to the liking of some vested interests who were pillaging the existing system for their own vested interests,” the minister said.

He added that such elements have got unnerved by the new mechanisms of monitoring and transparency being put in place and have launched a sustained misinformation campaign on NFSA.

The minister said the irony is that the same political parties which first consented to extension of NFSA to J&K way back in 2011, when they were in power, are today trying to mislead the people for their own vested political interests.

Urging people not to get carried away by the misleading propaganda of the people with vested interest, the minister said the NFSA implementation is in the larger public interest and it would benefit the poorest of the poor.

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