TODAY -

Ram Vilas sets July target for NFS Act
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, February 14 2015 : Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution (CAF&PD) Ram Vilas Pas-wan has stated that the National Food Security (NFS) Act would be implemented in Manipur from July this year.

Ram Vilas Paswan who is currently at Imphal held a review meeting about the State's preparations for implementation of NFS Act in the State and impacts of railway mega block to Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) in Manipur, Assam, Mizoram and Tripura.

Briefing media persons at Hotel Imphal this afternoon, Ram Vilas Paswan stated that the four States have been working on data computerization for implementing NFS Act.

Under NFS Act, detail reports about allocation of TPDS goods to State agencies and distribution of the same commodities to public through fair price shops should be uploaded in web-site.

Moreover, district-wise allocation, price index and lists of beneficiaries should be uploaded in website.



Ram Vilas Paswan addressing a press meet
Ram Vilas Paswan addressing a press meet


Digitization work of necessary data has been comple- ted by 90 per cent in Mizoram and Tripura.

Manipur has completed the digitization work by 77 per cent while the same process is a little over halfway through at 62 per cent in Assam.

NFS Act can be implemented in Assam and Tripura from June this year.

For implementation of the same Act, Manipur has to wait one more month, Ram Vilas Paswan stated.

The mega block being imposed on Lumding-Silchar sector for laying broad gauge railway track has affected TPDS in Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura and Assam.

But there would not be any problem about shortage of food grains in the four States.

FCI has been transshipping 85,000 metric tonnes of rice to the four States from broad gauge railway terminals of Guwahati and adjoining areas.

Moreover, laying of broad gauge railway track between Lumding and Silchar would be completed by March 31 this year.

Food grains required for 70 to 90 days in the four States are available in stocks.

Responding to a query, the Union CAF&PD Minister, while acknowledging that there were complaints of discrepancies in implementing TPDS, maintained that the whole responsibility of distributing TPDS items lies with the respective States once the commodities have been lifted from FCI godowns.

To avoid discrepancies as far as possible, vigilance committees would be constituted apart from digitization of the whole process.

These committees would function at the levels of States, districts, blocks and Panchayats.

Selection of beneficiaries for NFS Act and percentage of coverage would be determined by the respective States and the whole process would be monitored by an independent body called the State Food Commission, Paswan stated.

LJP wishes to abolish the Armed Forces Special Powers Act 1958 but the party has no authority to give any comment on behalf of the Government of India on the issue.

"Nonetheless, I would urge the Prime Minister to repeal AFSPA from Manipur in line with the collective wish of the people", Paswan assured.

MLA Karam Shyam, FCI Chairman and Managing Director C Vishwanath, CAF&PD Joint Secretary Deepak Kumar were also present at the press meet.

Ram Vilas Paswan would lay foundation stones of two FCI godowns in Bishnupur and Imphal East districts tomorrow which would have storage capacities of 5000 metric tonnes and 10,000 metric tonnes respectively.

Meanwhile, the All Manipur Road Transport drivers and Motor Workers Union has submitted a memorandum to Ram Vilas Paswan seeking his intervention so that transport contractors are selected and transportation of FCI rice along Imphal-Jiribam highway is resumed.

After perusing the memorandum, the Union CAF&PD Minister assured to look into the grievances of drivers.

Interestingly, the drivers' union team and the FCI Imphal DGM had a heated argument in front of the Union Minister regarding prohibition on transporting FCI rice on Imphal-Jiribam highway.


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