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Innovative, reformative measures afoot to rejuvenate FCS&CA Deptt: Zulfkar

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Jan 17: Minister for Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs (FCS&CA) Choudhary Zulfkar Ali today said that the department has carried out various innovative and reformative measures to rejuvenate its functioning for effectively carrying out its duties towards the people.
Winding up the discussion on Demand of Grants for FCS&CA Department, the Minister said the implementation of National Food Security Act (NFSA) is a major achievement of the current dispensation as it has benefitted the poor and downtrodden sections of the society. He further said that introduction of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed Food Entitlement Scheme (MMSFES) launched in July last year provided the additional ration to supplement existing food supply under NFSA to the consumers.
The Minister informed that total 5,970 Fair Prices Shops (FPS) are presently operating in the State, where as the department is in pursuit to open more than 4000 new FPS in the State. Besides, the Minister said that the dealer commission has also been enhanced to Rs 143 per quintal.
Giving details about the implementation of Prime Minister’s UjjwalaYojana (PMUY) in J&K, the Minister said that so far more than 1.9 lakh women beneficiaries from Below Poverty Line (BPL) families were provided with LPG connections under the scheme. He said that a full proof mechanism has been set up to check all kind of pilferages and streamlining the distribution of ration in the State.
“To check any kind of pilferage of food grains in FCI/FCS&CA stores, installation of GPRS in all vehicles transporting food grains meant for Public Distribution System has been made compulsory,” the Minister said.
He informed that the department is in the process of adapting various innovative measures especially Electronic Distribution System on lines of states like Chhattisgarh, and Tamil Nadu. He also said that a colour coded system for vehicles carrying food grains would soon be introduced which would help in monitoring and putting check on any kind of malpractices.
He added that cent percent digitization of ration cards has been achieved and the cards are already available on web portal
Later, the House passed the grants of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs, for the year 2017-18, which were moved by the Minister, amounting to Rs 54048.51 lakhs with voice vote.
Earlier, initiating the discussion Kuldeep Raj called for timely distribution of rations among the consumers and asked for setting up of new ration stores for the convenience of the consumers. Mohammad Ashraf Mir said the present dispensation has ensured that people get quality of food-grains.
Mohammad Akbar Lone said the areas like Teetwal, Gurez and Wadwan that get cut off from rest of the State due to heavy snowfall should be provided food-grains in advance. Seeking the Minister’s personal intervention, he stressed for getting rid of ‘middle men’ practice in the department. Vikar Rasool Wani advocated for enhancing food-grains quota under various categories and sought revision of rates for APL ration holders. Besides seeking frequent market checks, the MLA also asked to exempt the consumers from paying the charges of gunny bags.
Pawan Kumar Gupta demanded for revision of food prices and said that the prices of essential commodities should be regulated as per the prescribed norms.  The MLA also sought a separate debate to discuss implementation of GPRS system in the department. R S Pathania advocated for strengthening of Consumer Protection Act and urged for its implementation in true spirit.
Abdul Rahim Rather demanded for displaying of rate lists and ration card holders list in every ration depots. He also advocated for proper market checking. Ishfaq Jabbar Sheikh asked to take local legislators on board during the identification process for opening up of new fair price shops in their respective areas. He also sought re-verification of AAY and BPL lists.
Asgar Ali Karbalie demanded for revision of rates of food-grains. He asked for revocation of SRO 285 and for ensuring supply of kerosene oil to the deserving consumers especially living in far-off areas in Ladakh and Kargil. Bashir Ahmad Dar pleaded for regular checking to prevent food adulteration and said that brick kilns should be regulated properly. Dr Krishan Lal demanded regular market checking.
Yawar Dillawar Mir requested for taking local legislators into confidence during the process of opening up of new ration depots in their respective constituencies. Shamima Firdous asked for speeding up the process for distribution of remaining ration cards. She demanded for decrease in food grain prices being provided to the consumers under NFSA and MMSFES besides advocating for employing measures for proper checking of petrol pumps in the state.
G M Saroori demanded for decrease in prices of food grains being provided under these schemes. He also pleaded for timely distribution of ration to the nomadic population. Neelam Kumar Langeh asked for new fair price shops to be opened in the far-flung areas of the state while as Raja Manzoor Ahmad  emphasised on the need for opening up of fair price shops in the far-off places like Karnah.
Engineer Abdul Rashid urged for reduction in prices of food grain especially provided under MMSFES while as Shakti Raj Parihar  asked for opening up of more fair price shops in far-flung areas of his Constituency, besides opening up of gas agencies at block levels. Choudhary Sukhnandan Kumar said that Government needs to reconsider their procurement mechanism as the present one seems to lack the provision to cover unloading expense for the dealers, which in turn forces them to go for malpractices.
Abdul Majid Padder and Abdul Majeed Larmi also participated in the discussion.


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