Massive cut in ration quota and deleting non-Adhar card holders from registered portal:
Food employees stage protest
Srinagar, Jan 19, KNT: The massive cut in ration quota and the directions to provide ration to only Adhar card holders triggered a protest in the premises of Department of Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs here in Srinagar city.
The protesting employees from the department alleged that field staff is unable to confront the general public due to vague orders issued by the government.
The protest was led by Jammu and Kashmir Food and Supplies Employees Association President Riyaz Ahmed Sofi.
The protesters raised the slogans against the government and alleged that the department has endangered the lives of field staff especially store keepers.
While talking to News Agency Kashmir News Trust shortly after the protest, Riyaz Ahmed Sofi said that on the one hand government has resorted to massive cut in ration quota while on the other, the same government is silent and doesn’t make any formal announcement in this regard.
“Government has ordered store-keepers not to supply ration to those who are without Adhar Cards but at the same time it is not making any announcement in this regard. The Department has deleted one lakh 25 thousand consumers from its portal just because they have no Adhar Cards. This is absurd and a move to harass people,” Sofi said.
He said consumers ask store keepers to show formal order. “Where from the store-keeper will get the order when the same has not been issued by the Department. It is a verbal order and verbal orders don’t work. Store-keepers have to face people and they can’t confront everyone,” Sofi said.
He said the Department has deleted thousands of consumers from its registered portal across Kashmir but the majority of these consumers hail from Srinagar. “We all know that there are people who do not possess Adhar Cards but that doesn’t mean you will deprive them of ration,” he said.
Pertinently, Government has curtailed over 120371.62 quintals of food-grains (rice and wheat) in Kashmir Valley. Store Keepers and Fair Price Shop dealers have virtually locked their stores demanding supply of rice as per the desired quota and a formal announcement from the Department in this regard.
Under National Food Security Act (NFSA), Government of Jammu and Kashmir, Directorate of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Kashmir has allocated 210849.89 quintals of food-grains for the month of January 2021. Last year in October, 331221.51 quintals of food-grains had been allocated for Valley. “This is a deficit of 120371.62 quintals of food-grains and it is a huge margin that will affect people badly.”
For the month of January 2021, under Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) category, 30457.95 quintals of rice (50595.74 quintals in Nov 2020) have been procured. Under the same category 1321.60 quintals of wheat has been allocated while the figure in November 2020 was1488.11 quintals.
For the month of January 2021, under Priority Household (PHH) category, 98035.79 quintals of rice (155941.69 quintals in Nov 2020) have been procured. Under the same category 6620.00 quintals of wheat has been allocated for the current January month while the figure in November 2020 was 8207.46 quintals.
For the month of January 2021, under Non- Priority Household (NPHH) category, 70701.04 quintals of rice (109239.08 quintals in Nov 2020) have been allocated. Under the same category 3713.51 quintals of wheat has been allocated for the current January month while the figure in November 2020 was 5749.43 quintals.
Field staff involved in distribution of food-grains process is reluctant to supply ration to the consumers. They have been directed to make sales through Adhar Cards. “The fact is that only 60% population has Adhar Cards in Kashmir Valley. You can’t deprive those from ration who are not Adhar Card holders. We are scared of following new directions and unable to face people,” said a protesting Store-Keeper. (KNT)