JAMMU, Jan 17: The Government is facing additional burden of Rs 411 crore with the implementation of Mufti Mohd Sayeed Food Entitlement Scheme (MMSFES) while the people will get new ration cards by the end of this month.
While responding to a question of NC member Sajjad Ahmed Kichloo in the Upper House today, Minister for Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Ch Zulfkar Ali said that five kilogram ration per soul is being provided to the people under national Food Security Act (NFSA) in the State. He said five kg per soul ration is being provided as additional after a decision taken by the Govt headed by Late Mufti Mohd Sayeed and the name of the Scheme was also kept on his name. He said now, 10 kg per soul ration is being provided to the people per soul in the State.
The Minister disclosed that with this scheme an additional burden of Rs 411 crore is being faced by the State. The rice which is being provided to the people now at the rate of Rs 15 is being procured at the rate of Rs 25 and after including transportation handling charges it comes to be Rs 30 per kg and it is being provided to the BPL and others at very cheap rate and the NPHH category Rs 15 per kg. Still Govt is providing huge subsidy to the people and facing losses.
BJP member Ramesh Arora alleged that old city ration depots were lying dry and the people were not getting ration and even the ration cards were not being provided to the people. The minister said that new ration cards are being distributed to the people and they will get the same by the end of this month.
Kichloo asked why Govt has hiked the rate of atta and rice by 60 % while there is no hike on the ration by the Centre under MMFS. He also alleged shortage of ration in remote areas of Kishtwar and Doda. The minister avoided direct reply and said that Govt is already facing additional burden on account of subsidy.
The Minister said the process of the issuance of ration cards is on and the consumers who have not received the ration cards till date can also download temporary ration tickets from the departmental website.
Zulfkar further said the shortage of wheat in some areas of Jammu will be overcome by the end of March. He said the department has divided the areas according to the consumption of rice and wheat and the ration will be distributed according to the preferences of these areas.
The Minister said that there is no shortage of food grains in any area. He said the department is keeping available three months advance ration in food godowns. He, however, said that additional ration quota in sale outlets would be also kept available on market rates.