Imphal, Sep 21 : Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan today said the government is taking up a revolutionary step in the interest of the consumers of the country.
‘One Nation One Ration Card’ scheme, will allow portability of food security benefits. The plan is to implement it by July 1, 2020. All the States had been given one more year to use point of sale (PoS) machines in the ration shops and implement the scheme,” said the Union Minister during the inauguration ceremony of Food Storage Depot at Old Cachar Road, Bishnupur.
Paswan said, PoS machines have been implemented in 14 states of the country in connection with the one nation one card scheme. While Tripura and Imphal have completed almost 100% and 86% targets respectively, Assam and Mizoram have comparatively achieved lesser targets, he added.
He also pointed out that the people of Manipur should try to get the benefits of Prime Minister’s Ayushman Yojana that gives Rs 5 lakhs financial assistance per family in a year.
The Food Storage Depot inaugurated today has a storage capacity of 4,600 MT and the foundation stone was also laid by Paswan in 2015.
Appreciating the Manipur Government for doing a great job, Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan thanked the FCI officials for their work and team effort in bringing a full-fledged regional office of FCI in Imphal by January 2020. He said that the Government will further try to open FCI godowns in almost all the districts of the North Eastern states.
He also said that he had discussed in detail NFSA issues, drought related problems and other related matters with the General Managers, ED & Secretaries of the North Eastern States yesterday. Giving clarification on the issue of black marketing of essential commodities, Minister Karam Shyam said that NFSA rice allocation is provided to the public every month through NFSA fair price agents after getting certification from local organizations and elected members’ nominees. The process has been carried out transparently in collaboration with the DCs , DSOs and local representatives and rice given on a second term basis only after proper certification, he assured.
Minister CAF Manipur, Shyam also informed that the total monthly rice allocation under NFSA for the state is 13, 380.740 metric tonnes out of which around 5,79,870 is reserved for the households. The number of beneficiaries is around 24,32,702 while the total number of fair price shop agents is 2,324, he also added.
He also stated that the land has already been furnished for constructing 6 more new godowns in Manipur. The Ministry of CAF&PD has advised the state Governments to accelerate the process of computerization of PDS operations and integrate the software of FCI and State Governments at the earliest to ensure end to end computerization of the process of procurement, storage and distribution of foodgrains and bring all round development to the North Eastern states.
FCI has implemented depot online system in most of its owned depots in the North East Zone. In 2019, more than 17,000 MT capacity storage had been made in three locations of Manipur viz. Thoubal, Imphal East and Bishnupur. Minister CAF, Manipur Karam Shyam said it is really unfortunate that for the first time in the history of Manipur, the price of rice per kg has reached Rs 50. He assured that the current problem will be minimized if we get the 10,000 metric tonnes of rice from the Ministry that is supposed to be allocated during natural calamities.
Minister Shyam said the policy of allocation of SK oil has changed. It has to be distributed per quarter to only those beneficiaries who don’t have proper electricity and gas connection Anurag Gupta Executive Director, FCI, North East Zone said that construction of new godown at Churachandpur is in the pipeline and also mentioned that additional food grains are available under the open sales scheme in times of drought. (UNI)