SHILLONG, Oct 3: Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan in Shillong on Monday said that leakages of food grains before reaching the rightful beneficiaries is a state subject that the union government is trying plug in through multiple mechanisms.
Amidst the numerous complaints where beneficiaries have been either deprived or denied from their rightful dues due to alleged manipulations, Paswan said, “Till today, our job ends when we transport the food grains to the storage (like the Food Corporation of India). The state government is the sole authority to dissemite down to the beneficiaries”, even as he bemoan about the low standard of food grains and less quantity provided to the beneficiaries through the state agencies involved.
Making it clear that such manipulative supplying moves can be reported to the Consumer forum at different levels, the Minister made it clear that the states should follow the digitalized monitoring of “end to end tracking system” to track the movement of food grains meant for the beneficiaries.
Already eighteen states are into the digitalized system and none of the seven sister states have completed. “I will write to the Chief Ministers to utilized the computerized system for the benefits of the beneficiaries”, Paswan stated even as he added that the Union Government has little to do when the respective state governments refused to act.
98 to 100 per cent food grains including rice and wheat are being lifted from the Food Corporation of India (FCI) to cater to around 46 lakh beneficiaries in Meghalaya. According to the Union Minister, it includes the implementations of the tiol Food Security Act (NFSA) and the tide over on applicable consumer food items. Meghalaya alone procure 12281 metric tons of rice monthly and another 481 tonnes as a tide over. This is inclusive to the AAy beneficiary and the Prioirity household (PHH).
Talking about his Ministry ‘end to end reach’ policy, the Union Minister stated, “In a target population with a target point of sale device, any executing agency should understand that we have facts, act and tag to il any wrongdoers”.
The Minister also spoke about the direct cash benefits where the beneficiaries can procure food grains from the market set by the government.