Row over rice distribution: FCS&CA Department rebuts media reports of inadequate supply
SRINAGAR: Department of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs (FCS&CA), has strongly rebutted the news item circulated in a section of media regarding distribution of inadequate quantity of rice by some FPS dealers and quality not being up to mark, in certain areas, among the ration-card holders.
Taking strong note of the news, the concerned authorities have given out that no such report has been brought to the notice of the Department and that no specific FPS has been identified or area flagged in the said news item where ration below entitlement is being provide to the beneficiaries.
However, it has been advised that if any such activity is observed by the public or media, it needs to be brought to the notice of the department immediately, with specific details of the area, fair price shop or Sale Centre, assuring strict action against the dealers/salesmen involved, including cancellation of licenses or allotment. The public/media has also been advised to verify such reports from the authorities and take view of the department, so that correct facts are brought to the fore for the benefit of the public at large.
It has been clarified that the public distribution system in Jammu & Kashmir operates through a network of Government Sale Centres, licensed FPS private dealers and the distribution is through PoS machines and nearly 95% of it is distributed in an online mode, drawn by the beneficiaries with Aadhar authentication.
Further, the allocation of ration varies from category to category and the prices are as mentioned in the PoS Receipt. It is being pointed out for the information of the public that there is absolutely no shortage of any food item including rice, and in fact surplus always remains available with the department, that allocates ration, every month, for each family and each beneficiary as per their entitlement.
The quality of rice that is received from FCI and distributed under PDS conforms to prescribed threshold parameters and no stock that does not conform to these threshold parameters is distributed under PDS and wherever any report of deviation in parameters is observed, the remedial measures are taken immediately so that such stocks are not distributed.
It has been further clarified that the monthly scale of distribution and price under the scheme NFSA, beneficiaries falling under AAY category get 35 Kg of rice per family at the rate of Rs 3/Kg and under PHH category 5Kg of rice per beneficiary at the same rate as AAY. While Non NFSA, NPHH category gets 5 Kg rice per beneficiary at the rate of Rs 15/Kg. The monthly scale distribution for AAY/PHH categories under the scheme PMGKAY is 5Kg rice per beneficiary, free of cost, and under the J&K Government run scheme, JKFES, categories PHH/NPHH, get rice at the rate of Rs 15/Kg as per the defined scale depending upon the number of beneficiaries.
It has been clearly spelt out by the department that the beneficiaries must invariably seek entitlement from FPS or Government Sale Centre every month as per the defined rates and scale. Further, any ration outlet observed deviating from the said monthly scales or price, which tantamount to cheating/malpractice, by the public/media, needs to be immediately and specifically identified and reported to the department, so that immediate administrative action is taken. The beneficiaries need not accept ration found not being provided by the FPS dealer or salesman in line with the defined scales, price or quality and no reason whatsoever should be accepted in this regard.
For the information of the public, it has been reiterated that the rationees/ beneficiaries while taking ration from their respective Government Sale Centre/Fair Price Shop should ask for ration at the above scale and price, and a printed receipt from the dealer/salesman. In case of refusal or any kind of reluctance on part of the storekeeper, the same needs to be immediately brought to the notice of the Department at toll free number 1800-180-7011 or on the official grievance portal i.e feastjk.gov.in/jkgrams.
Besides, the department being committed towards making the PDS completely beneficiary-oriented has also brought in reforms and taken various measures to streamline the system of public distribution and seeks active public participation to make the PDS more transparent, credible and dependable.