Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed on Wednesday said the National Food Safety Act, 2013, will be implemented in the state from February 1 next year and its benefits would be based on 2011 Census.
"The National Food Safety Act (NFSA) will provide rations at highly subsidised rates to poor, marginalised and deprived sections of the society," Sayeed said at a press conference here.
"Atta (wheat flour) will be provided to the poor at Rs 2 per kg and rice at Rs 3 per kg. A major chunk of underprivileged population of 74.13 lakh people will benefit from the implementation of this act."
Sayeed said 45 lakh more people will get atta at Rs 8 per kg and rice at Rs 10 kg per kg. "Thus, a total of 95 percent of the state's population will be covered under the act."
While the previous state government had agreed to extend the act to Jammu and Kashmir, it was not implemented and the population basis for the NFSA had been fixed on the Census figures of 2001, thus ignoring the population growth in the state over one decade.
Sayeed said the budget session of the state's bicameral legislature would, for the first time, begin on January 18 next year instead of the traditional practice of holding the budget in March each year.
"This will help funds availability on the ground for developmental works in time," he asserted.
Speaking about the state cabinet's decisions on Wednesday on skill development, the chief minister said there are areas in the state where people have special skills for crafts.
"Focus will be laid on development of skills on areas with thrust on the existing skill potential in those areas," he said.
Sayeed also announced formation of two cluster universities, one each in the Kashmir Valley and Jammu region for skill development, and said the skill development programme will also be carried over to school and college levels.
Speaking about the Dal Lake in Srinagar that has borne the brunt of pollution and ecological degradation over the years, the chief minister said there were around 100,000 people living inside the Lake and they would be relocated on land already identified in Pampore area of south Kashmir's Pulwama district.
Sayeed also spoke of public-private partnership in places of tourist attraction like Ranjit Sagar Dam in Jammu region and other places in the state.
He said the 'Laadli Beti scheme' has already been announced in the state that would benefit daughters born to poor parents. It includes Rs.6.50 lakh for each girl belonging to a poor family when she attains marriageable age.