State to set up Food Commission, GoI to give additional ration

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For the implementation and execution of National Food Security Act (NFSA) in Jammu and Kashmir from February 1, 2016, the State Government is going to set up a  Food Commission while the Government of India has  agreed to provide 2.71 lakh metric ton additional food grains to J&K.
Under  NFSA, the Government has also started enrollment for new ration cards across the State and more than 1.19 crore people will be enrolled under the  ongoing massive drive, which was launched yesterday.
“To oversee  the execution of National Food Security Act in J&K, the State Government will soon constitute a State Food Commission, which will  be an appellant authority,” said Chowdhary Zulfikar Ali, Minister for Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution (CAPD), while talking.
As the people now have the right to food  under NFSA and the Government is  duty bound to provide food to deserving people, the department is liable to be prosecuted in case of failure to provide ration, the Minister added.
Pertinent to mention that the State Government, in its last Wednesday Cabinet meeting, had decided to implement National Food Security Act in J&K in toto.
Under NFSA, the beneficiaries will get assured supply of ration right at their doorsteps in a hassle-free manner from February 1 next year while any person who is denied ration shall be given ‘food security allowance’ through an inbuilt mechanism which has been incorporated in the Act.
Informing that enrollment for new ration cards under NFSA has also begun from December 7, Ch Zulfikar said that December 18 is  the last date of filing the form. Scrutiny of forms will be done from December 19 to December 21  and  final lists will be displayed at fair price shops across the State on December 22, he added.
If any one has any objection, he/she can file it till December 26 and the list would be finalized on December 27 while   distribution of new ration cards will start from February 1 next year.
Giving more details, the Minister said that 74.13 lakh persons from poor and marginalized sections of the society will be provided ration at highly-subsidized rates — Rs 2 per kg for atta and Rs 3 per kg for rice while another 45 lakh people will be provided atta at Rs 8 per kg and rice at Rs 10 per kg.
For the 45 lakh new beneficiaries, the Government of India has agreed to provide 2.71 lakh Metric Ton additional food grain to J&K,” the Minister disclosed and added that  the Government has decided to disburse ration as per the 2011 Census.
As many as 40.26 lakh beneficiaries have been listed in ‘Priority Class’, including 26.49 lakh belonging to BPL category and 13.77 lakh under AAY category. For the remaining 33.87 lakh under ‘Non-Priority Class’  officials will adopt proper procedures for identification of the families.
The concerned Deputy Commissioner shall devise mechanism for identification to cover all eligible families as per the target, given to each district,  from deserving and marginalized sections of society, says a Government order in this regard.
As per the Government notification, priority households under NFSA include; present AAY and BPL list, households having meager monthly income, houseless and landless, widows, orphans, destitute, militancy and violence affected families in low income group, leprosy patients and domestic house maids, weaker sections, nomadic families, old age pension holders, specially abled/physically handicapped, inhabitants having Kuchha house, displaced families (natural calamity), labourers and workers, slum dewellers and any other deserving families, identified by the competent authority.
The businessmen having business turnover of Rs 25 lacs per year, income tax payee of the slab @30 percent or higher tax slabs, persons having land holding above 80 kanals in case of individuals and 250 kanals in case of joint family, Gazetted officers or equivalent rank in Corporations, Board, PSUs etc and all persons holding Constitutional positions have been excluded under NFSA.
All the persons, who are not included in either of these two criteria groups, will come under Non-priority category.
The District Level Committees, which  will be solely responsible for the implementation of NFSA in their respective jurisdiction,  will collect entire data and segregate the same as per the criteria in the Priority AAY, Priority, Non-Priority and Exclusion. These District Level Committees will be headed by the concerned  DDC and comprising of Assistant Commissioner Development, District Special Welfare Officer and Assistant Director CAPD as members.
Further, there will Tehsil Level Committees working  under the supervision of District Level Committees. These committees, headed by the concerned Tehsildar, will collect the basic data, segregate it as per the Government criteria, seek objections on merit and final the list after giving due opportunity of being heard. Concerned BDO, Tehsil Social Welfare Officer and  Tehsil Supply Officer will be members of the Tehsil Level Committees.

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