In a significant decision, Minister of Finance, Dr Haseeb Drabu, on Thursday gave approval to the creation of Jammu Kashmir Civil Supplies Corporation that will change the face of Public Distribution System in the State.
The Minister said the Corporation will be the sole agency for procurement of food grains under Public Distribution System while maintaining Commercial Accounting System outside the Government Accounting System.
“The Corporation will cover the State through an efficient procurement and distribution network while infusing transparency and accountability in the system,” Dr Drabu said, while giving approval to the proposal in a meeting held here.
The meeting was also attended by Commissioner Secretary Finance, Navin K Choudhary, Director General, Budget, Mohammad Ishaq Wani, Director, Codes, Mohammad Rafi Andrabi and other officers.
The Finance Minister said the Corporation must explore the possibility of dealing with workers hired for loading and unloading of grains, by creating an agency which will be dealt with by the Corporation, instead of the Government.
“The Government should have budgetary control on PDS while maintaining transparency in accounts. We share a lot of concerns of transparency in the Public Distribution System and commercial accounting system. This Corporation is a step towards addressing those concerns,” Dr Drabu said.
The Corporation will undertake payment of cost of rice and other incidental charges for procurement, milling or processing charges to millers, and transportation charges from purchase point to the fixed sale point.
“In addition to food grains, the Corporation can also undertake domestic trading of other agriculture products, like pulses. Sugar can be procured directly from sugar factories of neighboring states and transported into J&K using least expensive means of transport,” he said.
The Finance Minister said the Corporation will do away with the departmental accounting of Public Distribution System and replace it with proper Commercial Accounting System. “The Finance Department can provide it with a one-year revolving fund,” the Finance Minister said.
The Corporation, which will also cover various Government Schemes MDM, MMSFES, AAY, Social Welfare Schemes, etc, will ensure quality control in procurement, distribution of food grains and regulate the rise in prices of essential commodities in open market. It will be headed by a Managing Director.