No doubt about it. In as much as the National Food Security Act is about the efforts of the Government to ensure that people belonging to eligible households get the right to receive food grains at subsidised rates under the Targeted Public Distribution System, it stands that the State Food Commission, set up all over the country, is the mechanism to ensure that the food grains do get delivered without the same lining the pockets of some unscrupulous elements.
In short the State Food Commission is the soul of the Food Act meant to ensure that subsidised food grains do reach the intended target.
A look at the reality however tells a different story.
It was with the intended purpose to ensure that the food grains are delivered to the entitled people that the National Food Security Act was launched in the State on April 25 last year by the then Chief Minister O Ibobi when the State was under the Congress Government.
Now more than 365 days down the line and it is more than clear that charges and counter charges have come to define NFSA more than anything else and this is something which the State can do without.
A look at any of the daily newspaper published in Imphal will surely greet the readers with people coming under different associations and organisations alleging that they have not received their share of rice quota under the NFSA.
There have also been cases when local MLAs too have jumped into the fray to highlight the case of missing rice quota and all this should make it clear that NFSA has not seen a smooth ride here for some time.
There could be many reason why the rice distribution under the NFSA has come under a cloud but one thing that is clear should be the abject failure of the State Government to kick life into the Manipur State Food Commission.
And all for the simple fact that the Manipur State Food Commission (MSFC) does not have the requisite quorum.
The job of the Manipur State Food Commission is to monitor and review the NFSA implementation in the State.
With no requisite quorum, the MSFC is for all practical purpose a paper tiger, a mere symbol without the needed strength to actually monitor and review the NFSA in the State.
Probably this is the primary reason why there are so many allegations that a large number of people have not received their due share of the food grains, particularly rice, which should be made available to the people at the rate of Rs 3 per Kg.
Moreover each person is to receive five Kg of the subsidised rice in a month.
With no body to monitor how the NFSA is being implemented in the State, it is no wonder that allegations have been flying thick and fast of how some section of the people have not been receiving their rice share.
Infuse life to the MSFC and make NSFA meaningful, is the stand of The Sangai Express.
Source: The Sangai Express