Minister briefs Governor on ration supply schemes in remote areas

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Minister for Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution (CAPD) Chowdhary Zulfkar Ali today briefed Governor NN Vohra about various ration supply schemes in remote areas of the state.

Zulfkar called on the Governor at Raj Bhawan here today. He explained steps initiated by his department for ensuring timely, adequate and equal distribution of ration, particularly in far-off areas of the state.The minister informed the Governor that the CAPD was providing ration from September 1, 2015, to 6.7 lakh additional families on the basis of the 2011 Census.

Regarding the implementation of the National Food Security Act, Zulfkar said this statute would enable the CAPD to provide ration to 119 lakh persons, of whom 74.13 lakh belonged to marginalised sections at highly subsidised rates of Rs 3 per kg for rice and Rs 2 per kg for flour.He said 45 lakh persons would be provided ration at the prevalent above poverty line rates of rice at Rs 10 and flour at Rs 8 per kg.

He said there would be uniformity of scale at 5 per kg per person among all categories except rationees covered under the AAY, who would be provided ration at 35 kg per family.He further said his department would move towards the delivery of a highly targeted public distribution system as the development of robust Aadhaar-enabled data base would help in identifying duplication and eradicating bogus ration cards. If any identified beneficiary was denied ration, he would be given food security allowance, Zulfkar said.He apprised the Governor of other initiatives taken by his department like an e-PDS Project costing Rs 20 crore being set up to regulate the supply chain management, mapping of entire movement of food grain from FCI godowns to customers, installation of IP cameras in major godowns in the state, electronic weighing scales at sale points, display of stock positions and online monitoring of food grain to make the system fully transparent.

He stated that the Legal Metrology Department had booked 6,562 traders and imposed a penalty of Rs 51.66 lakh in 2015-2016 while 5,596 traders were booked and a penalty of Rs 47 lakh imposed on them in 2014-2015.The Legal Metrology Department had already constructed and made functional two laboratory-cum-office buildings, one each in Jammu and Srinagar, and was planning to construct such buildings in all district headquarters with Central assistance, for which land had already been identified.The Governor was informed about the development of five “smart tribal villages” during the current financial year under the convergence scheme. For the first time, an attempt had been made for the creation of tangible assets for making judicious use of tribal funds and ensuring availability of basic facilities like electricity, drinking water and road connectivity in areas inhabited by backward tribal population, he said.He said an amount of Rs 5 crore had been earmarked during the current financial year for imparting training in different trades to tribal youths for achieving the twin targets of employability and market-oriented skills.

He said an amount of Rs 7 crore would be released during the current financial year for construction of one tribal hostel each in Samba, Poonch, Rajouri, Bandipora, Baramulla, Kupwara and Srinagar.He said scholarship amount was being credited directly into bank accounts of beneficiaries to streamline disbursement of scholarships to tribal students.

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