Ram Vilas inaugurates food storage depot in Bpr
More in the pipeline, says CAF and PD minister
IMPHAL | Sep 21
Union minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution (CAF and PD), Ram Vilas Paswan today inaugurated Food Storage Depot (FSD) of Food Corporation of India (FCI) at Bishnupur.
The foundation stone of the depot having a storage capacity of 4600 MT was also laid by Ram Vilas Paswan himself on February 15, 2015.
Speaking at the gathering, the union minister stressed that technological improvement is crucial to fulfil the ‘one nation, one ration card’ initiative of the government by June 2020. “I have discussed the matter with chief minister, N. Biren, and he assured to me that the state government is working on it,” he said.
If the ‘one nation, one ration card’ initiative is implemented across the country, citizens can avail their entitled rations from any state of the country, he added.
While noting that Point of Sale (POS) machines have been implemented in 14 states, in connection with the one nation one card scheme, the union minister mentioned that Tripura and Imphal have completed almost 100 percent and 86 percent of the targets respectively while Assam and Mizoram have comparatively achieved lesser targets.
Lauding the FCI officials for their efforts in bringing a full-fledged regional office of FCI here in Imphal, he assured that the regional office being constructed at Old Assembly Road will be made functional by January 2020.
Ram Vilas went on to assert that the government is targeting to open FCI godowns in every districts of all the North East states.
As Manipur has been declared drought hit by the state government, the Minimum Support Price (MSP) of different crops will be fixed according to the policy mandate and the CAF and PD ministry will ensure that the produce be made available at MSP, he added.
He also urged the states of the NE to accelerate the process of computerisation of PDS operations and integrate the software of FCI to ensure smooth process of procurement, storage and distribution of foodgrains and bring all round development to NE states.
Speaking at the event, CAF and PD minister, Karam Shyam, while referring to questions from various quarters, clarified that there is no black marketing of National Food Security Act (NFSA) food grains.
He said that the entitled food grains are made available to the deserving beneficiaries through NFSA fair price shops agents every month after getting certification from local organisations and elected members’ nominees. He also said that the process has been carried out transparently in collaboration with DCs and local representatives.
The minister further informed that the total monthly rice allocation under NFSA for Manipur is 13, 380.740 MT from which would benefit 5, 79,870 households. The number of beneficiaries is around 24,32,702 while the total number of fair price shop agents is 2,324, he said.
Expressing worry over the skyrocketing of price of essential commodities especially rice, Shyam observed that the situation will be favourable if the state receives the 10,000 MT of rice to be provided as aid during times of disasters.
He went on to say that proposals have already been sent with a project cost of Rs 61 crore for construction of six more Food and Civil Supplies (FCS) godowns in the state.
Secretary, (F and PD), government of India, Ravikant, C and MD, FCI, D.V. Prasad, executive director, FCI, NE Zone, Anurag Gupta, food secretaries of NE states among officials and representatives of CAF and PD department were also present during the occasion.
The ministers later planted saplings in the FSD campus.
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