IMPHAL, May 21: Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution (CAF&PD) Minister Ksh Biren has asked all Fair Price Shop agents to deposit money and collect rice for distribution to public at Rs three per Kg under the National Food Security Act (NFSA). Informing that the department has started sanctioning rice for the month of April, Biren stated that any agent or official responsible for committing lapses or anomalies would not be let scot-free. Speaking to media persons at his official quarters today, Ksh Biren reminded that the NFSA was launched in Manipur by Chief Minister O Ibobi on April 25.
After the Act was launched, a joint meeting was held with the concerned Principal Secretary, Director, Deputy Commissioners and DSOs on the department’s failure to make smooth progress in im-plementing the NFSA. With the DCs confident that the NFSA can be implemented, FPS agents were selected and identity cards were generated for beneficiaries.
Altogether 87 per cent of the total population of Manipur would be entitled to NFSA benefits and identity cards for 74.64 per cent of the total population have been already generated.
Meanwhile, the concerned District Supply Officers have been instructed to prepare identity cards for all the left out beneficiaries as soon as possible.
Implementation of the NFSA and any lapses therein would be reviewed every three months, informed the CAF&PD Minister. Monthly total allocations of wheat and rice for Manipur are 2281.415 tonnes and 9508.845 tonnes respectively. However, the State Government has surrendered the State’s wheat quota as very few people consume wheat as their staple diet in the State. In place of the wheat quota, the rice quota has been hiked to 11,796.56 tonnes per month. The Government has procured rice quota for the month of April from FCI godowns and the same has been stocked in Government godowns. Distribution of rice to the public has also started at some places. But most of the agents have not come for their respective rice quotas either due to lapses on the part of the agents or district authorities.
He then appealed to all FPS agents to pay due amounts and collect rice for distribution to public at the rate of five Kgs of rice per member of each beneficiary household.
As such, if a beneficiary household has five members, the family would get of 25 Kgs of rice per month. Beneficiaries may obtain their NFSA cards from concerned DC offices rather than waiting for elected representatives to distribute them. Lists of beneficiaries covered by each FPS Agent have been already drawn up. Decrying the controversy which erupted over distribution of rice under NFSA within his home constituency of Lamlai, Ksh Biren stated that an enquiry would be instituted and those found guilty would be punished according to law.