Anna Sewa Saptah: Record 96% of card holders get food grains in just 7 days
For the first time since the Public Distribution System (PDS) was launched in the state, distribution of food grains to ration card holders was completed in the week marked as Anna Sewa Saptah.
Anna Sewa Saptah under new SOP
GUWAHATI: For the first time since the Public Distribution System (PDS) was launched in the state, distribution of food grains to ration card holders was completed in the week marked as Anna Sewa Saptah.
The initiative for organizing the first Anna Sewa Saptah from November 10 to 16, 2023, under the recently adopted Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), was taken up for a more efficient distribution of food grains and to check its pilferage.
A Food, Public Distribution & Consumer Affairs commissionerate source, said at the conclusion of the Saptah, that it exceeded all expectations by catering to 95.82% of the total ration card holders, who were distributed PDS food grains under the National Food Security Act 2013, from fair price shops in the seven days of the programme. Before this, the distribution used to continue through the month.
The programme was organized under the guidance of Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and monitored by Food, Public Distribution & Consumer Affairs Minister Ranjeet Kumar Dass. The Commissionerate of FPD&CA prepared the roadmap for proper implementation of Anna Sewa Saptah, said department sources.
The Assam cabinet recently adopted a new Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the allocation, lifting, transportation, and distribution of food grains under PDS and TPDS.
Under the new SOP, it was stated that Anna Sewa Saptah would be held between the 10th and 16th of every month, and ration card holders would be supplied food grains during this period only.
The government felt there was leakage in the system and that it was necessary to plug it. Also, there was no time frame for the distribution of PDS food grains from the fair price shops. So, the new SOP was adopted.
According to a source at the Commissionerate, a total of 55,61,951 households in the state had ration cards in November. Out of this, 52,15,409 households collected the food grains from fair price shops in this period from November 10 to 16, amounting to 95.82%.
As per the new SOP, the distribution of food grains to ration card holders was stopped at 10 PM on November 16. Significantly, the distribution was done through ePOS devices. However, many ration card holders did not get their Aadhaar cards generated due to issues with the NRC or old age (fingerprint issue). These people were provided the food grains manually. With these counted among the receivers, the percentage of those provided food grains would cross 95.82%.
The ePOS devices were made operational in the morning of November 10, and they stopped working after 10 PM on November 16. This was the period within which the food grains were distributed.
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