JAMMU, Jan 18: Minister for Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Chaudhary Zulfkar Ali today said that transportation liability worth over Rs 17 crore was pending in Doda, Kishtwar and Ramban districts while the Government has sanctioned 4388 new fair price shops which will be opened on commission basis in the State.
Responding to the questions of NC member Dr Shehnaz Ganai and Congress member Naresh Gupta (in written reply) in the Upper House today, the Minister said that in snowbound areas of erstwhile districts Doda, the departments dump food-grains, sugar and kerosene oil for winter months. He said huge liability on account of transportation charges of mule owners and others is still pending. He disclosed that an amount of about Rs 17 crore is the liability which includes, Rs 11.38 crore in district Doda, Rs 3.99 crore in district Ramban while about Rs 2 crore in district Kishtwar.
In reply to yet another question, he said the free LPG connections are being provided to those BPL families whose names are included in the SECC-2011 conducted by Govt of India in the State. He also provided district wise monthly quota of rice and wheat being provided to these three districts.
Responding to question of Dr Shehnaz, Zulfkar said at present 5970 sale depots and fair price shops are existing across the State adding that no sale depot have been opened during the current financial year. He however, said that 4388 fair price shops have been sanctioned by the Government to be opened on commission basis. He said the criterion set by the Government would be strictly followed while setting up these new FPSs.
Giving details about the procurement and sale of rice, wheat and atta from FCI, the Minister said that under NFSA, Government is procuring rice at the rate of Rs 3 per kg and wheat at Rs 2 per kg for priority category including AAY and PHH and the same is provided to the consumers at the same price, while for NPHH category rice and wheat is sold at Rs 15 and Rs 12 per kg, respectively, while atta is sold at Rs 13 per kg.
He said under tied-over/ NPHH, the Government is procuring rice at Rs 8.30 per kg and wheat at Rs 6.10 per kg from FCI.
The Minister further stated that 2.56 lakh families have been covered under AAY, 10.93 under PHH and 8.23 under NPHH taking the total number of souls provided ration under these categories to over 1.19 crore.
Ch Zulfkar further said that under Mufti Mohammad Sayeed Food Entitlement Scheme (MMSFES) rice is procured from FCI at the rate of Rs 24 per kg and sold to the consumers at Rs 15 per kg, while wheat is procured at Rs 16 to Rs 24 per kg and sold at Rs 12 per kg. He said similarly Atta is also procured at Rs 16 to Rs 24 and sold at the rate of Rs 13 per kg.
Replying to the question of Dr Ganai as to what made the Govt to hike the price of rice and atta for NPHH category, the Minister said Govt is purchasing ration worth Rs 1200 crore annually and cash receipts are worth nearly Rs 800 crore. Still Govt is bearing burden of Rs 411 crore in terms of huge subsidy being given to the consumers. The priority category including BPL/ AAY consumers are getting ration at the old rates, the NPHH category people can afford minor hike and Govt decided to raise the price, he maintained.