NFSA deprived large population of subsidised food grains: ANC

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Awami National Conference (ANC) has expressed despondency over PDP-BJP Govt’s decision in implementing National Food Security Act (NFSA) saying it has deprived a large population of subsidised food grains.
ANC Provincial President, S. Gian Singh hit out at the PDP-BJP coalition accusing it of robbing people of the right to bare minimum ration requirement.
This ceiling doesn’t, however, apply to the ‘poorest of the poor’ covered by the Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY), who are entitled to 35 kg of foodgrains per family per month. Beneficiaries in the ‘non-priority’ group get foodgrains at Rs 10/kg, capped at 5 kg/person, Singh added.
Adding further Singh maintained that under the norms, 119.13 lakh people come under NFSA cover – that is 95% of the population of the state. Out of this, 74.13 lakh fall under the priority sector, with 13.77 lakh under AAY. Forty-five lakh are in the non-priority sector, while 6 lakh people are not entitled to the benefits.
The problem, however, is that while NFSA reduces the price of food grains for beneficiaries, it puts a cap on the quantity given to each person.
Before the implementation of NFSA, each family in J&K was entitled to 35 kg of food grains. Since only a small percentage of the population falls under AAY in J&K, more than 90% of the state’s population is affected by the ceiling, Singh regretted.
Rice is the staple diet in the state, and a ceiling of 5 kg/person/month is too low for most of the population.
Given that the average person in J&K consumes 400 g of rice every day, or about 12 kg per month, the
potential deficit of 7 kg per person per month has to be made up by purchases from the market, where rice costs Rs 20-30 per kg, Singh
remarked.
Singh called upon the CAPD authorities to adopt a consumer friendly approach for ration distribution and ensure that genuine complaints of the people are met in a time bound
manner.

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