J&K govt to set up 7,679 food stores
Jammu: Aiming to streamline the public distribution system, the Jammu and Kashmir government on Friday said 7,679 new food stores are being set up in the state.
"7,679 new food stores are being set up in the state, which shall be properly manned by adequate human resource for which Rs 50 crore have already been released for their establishment," Minister for Consumer Affairs & Public Distribution (CA&PD) and Transport, Choudhary Mohammad Ramzan said.
He was replying to the demand of grants of his departments in state Legislative Assembly today.
The Minister said these new food stores would be setup in both hilly and plain areas as per the requirement of the area. This would help to meet the demand of the people, he added.
With regard to Food Security Act, the Minister said the Act will not be implemented in toto, however, it will be implemented in parts in accordance with the requirement of the state so that no ration card holder is deprived of benefits under the state`s public distribution system.
The Minister said the state government has procured and maintained stores with adequate sugar in order to meet the demands of the people.
He said that the Government has also taken steps to streamline the distribution of kerosene oil in the State and maintain its adequate supply. The government has also upgraded the monitoring mechanism to prevent any pilferage of K-oil in the State, he added.
Ramzan said that during last one year 142 new gas agencies have been sanctioned by different oil companies to provide LPG to the consumers at their door step.
He said most of the agencies were opened in far of areas, including 22 in Doda, seven in Tangdhar and Teetwal and 17 in Rajouri and Poonch besides others.
He said the Government has ensured 100 per cent home delivery in cities and towns across the State, adding that some defaulters among gas agencies have been fined up to Rs 1.20 crore.
The Minister said that the storage capacity of ration and LPG has been doubled in the State during last one year. He said in ration storage capacity has been enhanced for six months through FCI and state government depots which used to be less earlier.
In LPG, the Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd has enhanced its storage capacity from one and half month to three months.
For streamlining the flour distribution and to maintain quality control, the Minister said that wheat supply to flour mills shall be based on the grinding capacity of the respective flour mills.
Ramzan said the government has formulated an Action Plan
for introduction of e-PDS amounting to Rs 21.64 crore for creation of data base for godowns, FP Shops/PDS agencies/ digitisation of Ration Tickets and some components of supply chain management under component-I.
The proposal has been submitted to the Central Government for approval and release of matching share. The step is aimed to ensure complete transparency in the functioning of the Department, he said.
For the conveniences of consumers, the Department has launched three websites, one in the Administrative Department and two at the Directorate level.
The websites will provide day to day information to the consumers about the rates of commodities and availability of ration and other relevant data pertaining to the department.
Besides, the Department has also installed consumer grievance registration and redressal toll free telephone numbers at the Directorate level for the consumers.
The Department has also ensured display of sign boards on Fair Price Shops/Government outlets about the details of ration and their rates, said the Minister.
Maintaining that the Government has taken several measures to improve the distribution system and to keep a check on pilferage of Government ration, the Minister said that Block Level Vigilance Committees have been constituted for monitoring of TPDS and checking bogus ration cards comprising TSO, Inspector CA&PD, VLW, Anganwari Worker, Senior Government teacher and Numberdar under the overall supervision of the concerned Tehsildar.
The Committees give their reports to the concerned Deputy Commissioners for appropriate action, he said.
In order to safeguard the interests of consumers, the government has established two Divisional Consumer Forums in the state, besides, District Forums have been established in each district with Principal District and Sessions Judge of each district as its ex-officio President.
The Consumer Councils have also been constituted to suggest ways and means for redressal of consumer grievances. The State Level Consumer Councils headed by the Minister for CA&PD as Chairman and Secretary CA&PD as Member Secretary, besides 17 Members and District Level Consumer Councils are headed by the concerned Deputy Commissioners, said the Minister.
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