Will Procure SNP Rice from FCI, Assam Social Welfare Minister Ajanta Neog

Will Procure SNP Rice from FCI, Assam Social Welfare Minister Ajanta Neog

The State Cabinet on Wednesday decided to procure rice for the Social Welfare Department's SNP (Supplementary Nutrition Programme) directly from the FCI, not through contractors.

Decision to put an end to contractors' writ that runs in the Social Welfare Department

STAFF REPORTER

GUWAHATI: The State Cabinet on Wednesday decided to procure rice for the Social Welfare Department's SNP (Supplementary Nutrition Programme) directly from the FCI, not through contractors. The decision is aimed at putting an end to the writ of contractors that runs in the department.

Making mention of the Cabinet Decision, State Social Welfare Minister Ajanta Neog said, "Through the SNP under the ICDS (Integrated Child Development Scheme) the Social Welfare Department provides supplementary nutritious food to children from 0-6 years of age, pregnant women and adolescent girls to make their nutrition status high. Under this programme, hot-cooked food and home delivery rations are provided to the target beneficiaries through Anganwadi centres.

"The Department needs 90,000 MT of rice annually for the SNP. Over the years the Department has been procuring the rice for this programme through contractors who charge Rs 32 per kg. If the Department procures the rice directly from the FCI, it can get the rice at Rs 22 per kg. This surplus money will enable the Department to provide more nutritious food to the target beneficiaries.

"We'll request the FCI to provide our rice for the SNP at a subsidized rate. In that case, we can get the rice at Rs 3 per kg."

The Cabinet also decided to empower the Social Welfare Department to spend funds for the SNP without having to move the Finance Department for the ceiling.

According to sources, the State has around 62,000 Angawadi centres and 36.24 lakh SNP beneficiaries. According to the Central Government guidelines, each SNP beneficiary should get a meal for 300 days a year. However, this target continues to elude the State. The Scheme has all along been a contractor-centric one. In fiscal 2019-20, the Centre even reported that around 19 lakh ghost SNP beneficiaries were identified in Assam, leading to the initiation of an inquiry to ascertain that.

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