Centre to help J&K for 3-month advance supply of PDS grains

NEW DELHI: To help meet food shortage in Jammu and Kashmir, the Centre today said it will ensure adequate supply of PDS foodgrains to the state for advance distribution of three-month supplies among ration cardholders.
At present, the state is supplying grains via the public distribution system (PDS) on a monthly basis.
“As Kashmir is facing acute food shortage, the Centre has assured to provide an advance three-month ration for public distribution in the valley,” Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said in a tweet.
About 1.87 lakh tonnes of foodgrains will be supplied three months in advance to PDS beneficiaries.
On godowns, Paswan said a joint team will be constituted for assessing the feasibility to establish modern foodgrain storage system called ‘Silos’ in the state.
He also said foodgrain godowns located in Srinagar will be shifted outside the city and the one in Jammu not being used by the Food Corporation of India will be returned to the state government.
Elaborating, a senior Food Ministry official said, “We have already allocated to J&K the entire year’s PDS grain allocation. It is up to the state government to lift it from FCI godowns and distribute it either on a monthly or quarterly basis or… Six-monthly basis to people.”
In yesterday’s meeting here, state Food Minister Chowdhary Zulfkar Ali had said the state would supply three-month PDS grains in advance and the Centre assured it required assistance.
The state needs annually 7.51 lakh tonnes of foodgrains for PDS distribution under the National Food Security Act. It has sought an additional 4.30 lakh tonnes of grains at lower rates for implementing its newly-launched state food scheme. (AGENCIES)