Food Bill: 22.05 Lakh Enrolment Forms Issued; ‘Errors, Omissions, If Any, will be Taken Care Of’

KL NEWS NETWORK

SRINAGAR

Minister for Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution, Choudhary Zulfkar Ali Wednesday said that out of 22.05 lakh Enrolment Forms issued in the State for roll-out of National Food Security Act (NFSA), around 10 lakh forms have been received by the Government till date and the people are coming forward in large numbers to get enrolled before 18 December 2015, the last date fixed for submission of the completed forms.

Addressing a press conference here this morning, the Minister said that 22.73 lakh families comprising 119.13 lakh souls are to be covered under NFSA in the State and the CA&PD Department, with the help of concerned District Development Commissioners, is in the process of creating a comprehensive data-base in this regard.

The Minister said the Government will take a holistic review of the whole enrolment exercise on 18th December 2015, and if the need arises the last date for submission of Enrolment Forms could be extended to enable all the deserving families to get enrolled for NFSA before its rollout on 1 February 2016. He said once the enrolment process is complete, the provisional enrolment lists would be publicized for public scrutiny so that the discrepancies if any could be taken care of. “Given the magnitude of the enrolment exercise being carried out simultaneously throughout the State, there are chances of errors and omissions,” he said and added that the same would be rectified by the concerned before publishing the final lists.

The Minister said while under the existing dispensation only 18.02 lakh families comprising a population of 99 lakh souls are covered under Public Distribution System (PDS) in J&K, the implementation of NFSA will cover 22.73 lakh families comprising a population of 119.13 lakh souls. He said while 13.73 lakh families comprising 74.13 lakh souls would get highly subsidized rations at the rate of Rs 2 per kg (atta) and Rs 3 per kg (rice), another 7.85 lakh families comprising 45 lakh souls would get rations at the rate of Rs 8 (atta) and Rs 10 per kg (rice). He said every family member in these categories would be entitled to get 5 kgs ration per head except 2.56 lakh families comprising 13.77 lakh souls in AAY category who would continue to get 35 kgs ration per family, irrespective the number of family members.

The Minister said a small chunk of population of around 6 lakh souls comprising persons with income of more than Rs 25 lakh per annum, persons holding constitutional positions including Ministers and Legislators, employees of the State and the Central Government in the Gazetted cadre and a person owning more than 80 kanals of land individually or 250 kanals of land in joint family shall be kept out of NFSA. He said for such families food-grains would be made available on OMSS (Open Market Sale Scheme) rates.

Accusing the opposition of playing deluding politics over the issue, the Minister said that some political parties have launched a misinformation campaign on NFSA to mislead the people and bar them from taking benefit of this historic scheme. “The people should not fall prey to any propaganda and should try to take benefit of this revolutionary scheme,” he said and added that as the implementation of NFSA would go a long way in plugging the pilferages in the existing public distribution system, the elements who were thriving on the loopholes in the system are also responsible for spreading canards regarding the scheme.

“Given the fact that implementation of NFSA shall usher an era of assured supply of highly subsidized rations to the citizens of J&K at their doorstep in a transparent manner, unfortunately, it is not to the liking of some vested interests who were pillaging the existing system for their own vested interests,” the Minister said and added that such elements have got unnerved by the new mechanisms of monitoring and transparency being put in place and have launched a sustained misinformation campaign on NFSA.

The Minister said the irony is that the same political parties which first consented to extension of NFSA to J&K way back in 2011, when they were on power, are today trying to mislead the people for their own vested political interests.  “It was in 2011 that the then State Government vide Cabinet decision No: 202/25/2011 dated: 24-11-2011 gave concurrence to the Government of India’s proposal for implementation of National Food Security Act (NFSA) in J&K,” he said and added at that time NFSA had not been implemented anywhere in the country as the Act was promulgated throughout the country on 10 September 2013.

Urging people not to get carried away by the misleading propaganda of the people with vested interest, the Minister said the NFSA implementation is in the larger public interest and it would benefit the poorest of the poor.

Timeline and Highlights of NFSA

  1. The State Cabinet vide its decision No: 202/25/2011 dated: 24-11-2015 gave concurrence to the Government of India’s proposal for implementation of National Food Security Act (NFSA) in J&K.
  2. After being passed by the Parliament, Government of India notified the National Food Security Act- 2013 on 10 September 2013 for implementation across the country.
  3. The State Cabinet in its meeting convened on 2 December 2015 approved implementation of NFSA in Jammu and Kashmir.
  4. As per the Cabinet decision, NFSA is to be implemented throughout J&K from 1 February 2016.
  5. With the implementation of NFSA, 119.13 lakh souls (95% population) in J&K shall be covered under subsidized rations.
  6. Out of 119.13 lakh souls, 13.77 lakh souls falling under AAY category shall get rations at the rate of Rs 2 per kg (atta) and Rs 3 per kg (rice). The scale of 35 kgs per family shall be maintained in AAY category irrespective of the number of souls in each family.
  7. Under BPL category, 26.49 lakh souls will get rations at the rate of Rs 2 per kg (atta) and Rs 3 per kg (rice) with every member of a family entitled to get 5 kgs ration.
  8. Under Priority Class, 33.87 lakh souls will get rations at the rate of Rs 2 per kg (atta) and Rs 3 per kg (rice) with every member of a family entitled to get 5 kgs ration.
  9. In the Non-Priority Category, 45 lakh souls will get rations at the subsidized rate of Rs 8 (atta) and Rs 10 (Rice) with every member of a family entitled to get 5 kgs ration.
  10. A small chunk of population of around 6 lakh souls comprising persons with income of more than Rs 25 lakh per annum, persons holding constitutional positions including Ministers and Legislators, employees of the State and the Central Government in the Gazetted Cadre and a person owning more than 80 kanals of land individually or 250 kanals of land in joint family shall be kept out of NFSA. For such families food-grains would be made available on OMSS (Open Market Sale Scheme) rates.
  11. Any person who is, due to some reason, denied ration, will be given food security allowance.
  12. Under the existing dispensation only 18.02 lakh families comprising a population of 99 lakh souls are covered under Public Distribution System (PDS) in J&K while NFSA will cover 22.73 lakh families comprising a population of 119.13 lakh souls.
  13. Implementation of NFSA shall usher an era of assured supply of highly subsidized rations to the citizens of J&K at their doorstep in a transparent manner.

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