In its effort to implement the first phase of the National Food Security Act (NFSA), the Minister for Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution Chowdhary Zulfkar Ali in presence of Speaker Legislative Assembly Kavinder Gupta today launched the distribution of new ration cards to the beneficiaries.
The Minster commenced the programme by distributing new ration cards to people at R.S. Pura, Channi Rama and Janipur. The Minister was joined by Vice-Chairperson, J&K State Advisory Board for the Welfare and Development of Scheduled Castes Bushan Lal Dogra.
While addressing the gathering, Zulfkar said that new ration cards will be distributed to beneficiaries across state within one week’s time. The Minister stressed upon the people to educate themselves about their rights and entitlements and be vigilant citizens and identify unfair practices. He also informed the people that electronic scale will be made available to every Fair Price Shop within a few days which will regularize the supply and curb instances of pilferage.
The Minister said that he along with all senior officers of CAPD department will be available to address the complaints of the people and asked them to come forward if any dealer denies them their rightful ration. He promised to take strict immediate action against the erring officer/dealer found indulging in such activities.
Zulfkar said that awareness camps will also be organised throughout the state to explain to people in detail about finer points of the Act and people’s rights. Adding that in a campaign as big as NFSA, minor errors are bound to come up, he said that these camps will facilitate people in getting the errors rectified.
The Minister reiterating government’s commitment to provide quality ration especially to the underprivileged sections of the society said that with the implementation of NFSA, more than 20 lakh left out beneficiaries have been included under Public Distribution System (PDS) in the state, adding that the Act covers around 74.13 lakh under Priority, while as 45 lakh are covered under ‘Non-Priority’, making the total to 119.13 lakh soul as against 99 lakh souls included previously.
Providing relief to the consumers, Zulfkar said that the department has made ration cards available on the website of CAPD department with the facility of downloading ration cards and e-tickets.
Secretary CAPD Shafiq Ahmed Raina, Director GS Chib, Joint Director, Deputy Directors, Assistant Directors and other senior officials of the department also accompanied the minister.