Srinagar, June 30: Working in line with the Hon’ble Prime Minister, Narendra Modi’s commitment to the poor, the J&K Government is taking huge strides in ensuring food security for the residents of the UT through timely availability, efficient Supply Chain Management and streamlining the distribution of food grains, besides moving towards 100% Aadhaar seeding of the beneficiaries under various schemes.
Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha made these remarks during the meeting he chaired to review the Public Distribution System in the Union Territory of J&K, here at Civil Secretariat.
During the meeting, the Lt Governor took stock of the performance and future targets for the Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs (FCS&CA) department under the Public Distribution System. It was observed that the J&K government is reaching out to One Crore people with ration through a network of 6738 ration shops covering 25.73 Lakh ration cardholders including both NFSA & Non-NFSA beneficiaries. Moreover, the department operates the distribution process through an online public distribution system.
Emphasizing streamlining the distribution chain, besides rationalizing the availability of quality food grains at subsidized and affordable prices, the Lt Governor directed the concerned officials to bring reforms at the policy planning level to make the system more robust.
Make all schemes available online, besides fully automating the distribution process, authentication of beneficiaries and putting special focus on the public grievance to facilitate the people, the Lt Governor directed the officials.
He further passed directions pertaining to timely winter dumping and providing them to the beneficiaries in advance. Laying stress on the need to be proactive towards the issues of the public in the wake of the Covid pandemic, the Lt Governor directed the department to ensure seamless distribution of additional free-of-cost food grains under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) to alleviate the hardships faced by the poor and needy.
Earlier, Commissioner/Secretary, Department of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs, Sh. Zubair Ahmad informed the meeting that more than 95% of the Aadhaar seeding of Ration Cards for NFSA beneficiaries has already been achieved. Besides, the ration distribution is being done exclusively through PoS machines.
He briefed the chair about the overall operationalization of PDS in the UT; to date Coverage of ration cards across J&K; ePOS Status; progress achieved under One Nation One Ration Card (ONORC), besides status of Subsidized Sugar to AAY families; Use of web-based portals; Status of end-to-end computerization and Constitution of Consumer Disputes Redressal Forums.
More than One Lakh MT allocation made under various schemes like NFSA, PMGKAY, Non-NFSA, and JKFES during the month of May this year, it was informed.
The Lt Governor observed that ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’, part of the Prime Minister’s Technology Driven System Reforms under the AatmaNirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, has empowered the poor and the needy. It is one of the game changer initiatives giving flexibility and seamless access to PDS and delivery of food-security entitlements to all beneficiaries, anywhere in the country. “A perfect example of integrating technology with the government process and putting it to optimum use for benefit of poor”, he added.
The Lt Governor also stressed on ensuring seamless availability of food grains to the consumers, while identifying priority assessments including moving maximum ePOS machines to online mode, the introduction of Nomination Policy to cover deprived claimants, coverage of vulnerable groups, streamlining the distribution of Kerosene oil, tracking of Supply Chain Management, formulation of NFSA Rules, Aadhaar seeding of Non-NFSA etc.
Increase enforcement activities of Legal Metrology Department, besides keeping a strict vigil on black-marketing and illegal profiteering, he added. Farooq Khan, Advisor to Lt Governor; Dr Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary; Nitishwar Kumar, Principal Secretary to the Lt Governor; Sh. Abdul Salam Mir, Director of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs, Kashmir, and other senior officers attended the meeting.