FCS&CA Deptt launches exercise to extend food security cover to left-out beneficiaries

Srinagar: The Department of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs (FCS&CA) has launched an exercise to bring all the deserving left-out households and beneficiaries if any, under the ambit of the Public Distribution System in Jammu & Kashmir.

In this connection, FCS&CA Department has requested all the Deputy Commissioners through the respective Divisional Commissioners, to initiate an exercise to include the left-out eligible persons/ beneficiaries, if any, in light of the criteria already notified by the Government of India and Government of Jammu and Kashmir in this regard and within the assigned district wise and category wise targets.

“The exercise is aimed at bringing all the needy persons under the ambit of the assured food security, as per their entitlement, through the Targeted Public Distribution System,” a spokesperson of FCS&CA Department said and added that the Deputy Commissioners have been requested to approach the Government in case any district exceeds the quota or requires additional quota.

The spokesman said that the Commissioner Secretary, FCS&CA Department, Zubair Ahmad sensitized the officers about this issue and also  reviewed the progress achieved on other initiatives in a meeting with the provincial head and districts heads of the Department.

The spokesman said that in order to streamline and make the Public Distribution System more credible and transparent, the Department is vigorously pursuing Aadhaar seeding of beneficiaries in all categories in a mission mode so that all the genuine beneficiaries get identified and avail their entitled quota in a smooth and transparent manner. “In the event of any beneficiaries being without Aadhaar, the DCs have been requested to order special drive for enrolment of such beneficiaries in coordination with the field functionaries of FCS&CA Department,” he said and requested the beneficiaries to complete their Aadhar seeding at the earliest.

He said the Department is employing innovative measures to make the Public Distribution System credible and lay down an institutionalised framework for effective implementation of NFSA. He said in terms of the J&K Food Security Rules-2021, notified by the Department recently, measures like, fool-proof procedure for identification of beneficiaries, setting up of Internal Grievances Redress Mechanism along with Vigilance Committees to be set up at Village/Ward, Block and District levels and a mechanism of Social Audit have been put in place.

“These measures shall help to further strengthen Public Distribution System with the participation of all stake-holders right from grassroots level and help ensure transparency, accountability and proper functioning of the system in Jammu & Kashmir,” the spokesman said.

The Department, he said, has introduced a nominee policy to handle the failure of authentication in case of old aged persons/ workforce that has worn out finger prints, differently-abled persons, minors, bed-ridden persons with no physically able person in the family to draw rations.

“Since the introduction of this policy in August this year, around 2700 families have availed the said facility and are collecting their entitled ration through their nominees,” he said and urged all such families, who are eligible under the policy to avail this facility in order to get their rightful entitlement of rations and not to remain dependent on dealers or salesmen.

Regarding winter-dumping, the spokesman said that the Department has completed winter dumping of rations in the areas, that witness closure of roads and passes during the winters. “Across Jammu and Kashmir around 60,000 MTs of foodgrains have been dupmed for these areas, in which more than a thousand sale centers of the Department operate,” he said and added that advance free rations have also been lifted for distribution under PMGKAY till March, 2022 in these areas.

The spokesman said that in view of the demand from residents a special dispensation for distribution has been put in place in these areas and the beneficiaries can avail their ration quota for December 2021 and subsequent three months in one go, if they so desire, in view of harsh winters seen in such areas. However, all the distribution shall be made through PoS machines only to make the distribution process credible, he maintained—(KNO)

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