Govt defers NFSA implementation in 4 districts after ration card irregularities

People of Srinagar, Baramulla, Leh, Kargil to get ration at old rates

Govt defers NFSA implementation in 4 districts after ration card irregularitiesThe Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution (CAPD) department has deferred the implementation of National Food Safety Act (NFSA) in areas, where large scale irregularities have come to the notice of the government in updation of consumer data.

Sources said ration will be provided at old rates in the districts of Srinagar, Baramulla  Leh and Kargil due to large scale irregularities in the updation of data.

As per the NFSA rates, the BPL families will get rice and atta at Rs 3 and 2 per kg per kg respectively while the old rates is of Rs 6.5 per kg for the BPL families.

“In other districts, government has directed that the benefits of subsidy shall not be passed on to the consumers, who have fraudulently managed their ration cards,” sources said.

They said the government has decided to carry out house-to-house survey through Tehsil Committees to remove the discrepancies in the updation of ration cards.

Sources said government has come across irregularities in updation process across the Valley. “Over 10 lakh bogus ration cards have been issued across the State”.

They said even former ministers and top bureaucrats have managed to the get the ration cards in the Non Priority Household (NPH) category enabling them to get the subsidized food grains.

Sources said the government has taken a serious note of the laxity shown by Director CAPD in updating the consumer data base to meet the February 15 deadline.

According to officials involved in the updation process in districts of Srinagar, Baramulla and Ladakah region, the number of ration card holders will exceed the census population of 1.25 crore in the state.

“The data base is replete with errors with multiple entries. People, who should have figured in the exclusion category, have managed to get the NPH ration cards. The irregularities have marred the entire process to create a transparent food distribution mechanism,” they said.

Officials said the irregularities are there despite the fact that government had hired private vendors to create a digital record of the ration cards with Rs 8 being paid for working out the computerized record of each new ration card and Rs 5 for the old card holders.

Sources said in view of the irregularities, only 2.9 lakh people figure in the exclusion category  against the target of 6.5 lakhs.

“The government had earlier issued an order that the gazetted cadre officers and those holding constitutional positions and in possession of large land holdings will figure in the exclusion category. However many people have managed to fraudulently get the ration cards,” they said.

Former CAPD Minister, Chaudhary Zulfikar, said the government was implementing the NFSA act in the haste.

“If we come back to power, we will ensure that ration scale of the families is increased,” he said.

Joint Director CAPD Kashmir, Mohammad Qasim Wani, said people, who have figured in the ration cards in violation of norms, will be deleted from the data base.

“We plan to display the list of ration card holders in different areas to remove any fraudulent entries,” he said.