KL NEWS NETWORK
Projecting various food issues of J&K to Union Government, Minister for Consumer Affairs, Public Distribution Department and Legal Metrology, Chowdhary Zulfkar Ali represented J&K in National Consultation Meeting of Food Ministers of all the States and Union Territories of India.
He pleaded for 4.30 lakh metric tons of additional ration on APL rates for implementation of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed Food Entitlement Scheme (MMSFES) which is likely to be implemented from July 1, 2016.
Pleading for additional ration to implement MMSFES, Chowdhary Zulfkar Ali while addressing in the meeting said that state government has to procure 11.37 lakh metric tons of food grains for which an amount of Rs 1367 Crore are required annually.
He said that Rs 1030 Crore will be recouped on account of sale proceeds thereby creating a net deficit worth Rs 337 Crores annually. He demanded additional 4.30 lakh MT ration on APL rates to implement this scheme and also demanded Union Minister to issue necessary instructions to Food Corporation of India to ensure availability of 4.30 MT food grains for J&K from Jut 1, 2016.
Pledging to make the Department hi-tech, Zulfkar said that his Department has completed 100 percent digitization. He, however, demanded that funds be released for e-PDS on the pattern of 75:25 basis which is already being given to North Eastern states and is also agreed by Union Minister in last Consultation meeting.
He said among the agreed Rs 20.37 Crore, the state has received only Rs 6.11 crore and demanded that pending amount may be released at the earliest.
Projecting Silos in J&K, the Minister said that State Level Consultative Committee, J&K has recommended construction of hi-tech go-downs in Jammu and Kashmir and Food Corporation of India was asked to formulate proposal for construction of two SILOS but still the process has not been started. He demanded intervention of Union Minister in the matter.
The Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan appreciated Chowdhary Zulfkar Ali for his efforts in streamlining the Department and making it a vibrant Department in J&K. Paswan lauded J&K State for successful implementation of NFSA, efforts in e-PDS, market checking and adoption of proper price control mechanism in the state.
Meanwhile, Chowdhary Zulfkar Ali also raised the issues of Legal Metrology by terming it a most important Department.
He projected release of already agreed Rs 8.70 crore for strengthening of infrastructure of Legal Metrology, establishing of standard laboratories, research and development Labs. He added that no funds have been released in this regard. He also sought funds for Capacity building programmes. He requested Union Minister that direction may be passed on to FCI for establishing Food Testing laboratories.
The Minister said in order to control prices, his Department is going to maintain stock limits besides are planning to make Price Policy. He also said that they have tighten nose on black marketing by taking stern action to officials and dealers. He said that price mechanism is being strengthened in the state.
Meanwhile, the Minister said that they are going to constitute State Food Commission soon besides have planned to install Point Sale Machines (PoS) on pilot basis in few areas which will be extended to whole state in future.