Imphal, May 25:
Lack of transparency in the distribution of the PDS rice and dal to the general public during the lockdown has drawn serious criticism from sections of people raising questions on where have all the PDS rice allocated for the non-voters or non-card holders gone at many of the assembly constituencies.
Report from the DIPR said that lifting of rice for distribution under National Food Security Act (NFSA), Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) and Open Market Sale Scheme (OMSS), continues for different assembly constituencies in the state and two days back lifting of rice and dal under the said schemes for the constituencies in Imphal East district have been completed for the month of May and maximum rice for the remaining assembly constituencies have also been lifted. However, there is no report of proper distribution of the rice lifted for distribution to the general public till today for the month of May. There were complaints from some non-voters denying PDS rice at Sagolband Assembly constituency where PDS rice has been distributed at some places.
Imphal Times when enquired about how the distribution of PDS items was done, it has been found that there are various discrepancies in the distribution of PDS items.
According to source, rice under National Food Security Act (NFSA) should be distributed to Antyodaya Anna Yojana(AAY) and Priority House Holds (PHH) card holders . Allocation of rice under NFSA for AAY is 35 kg per card holder (house hold) and allocation under NFSA for PHH card holder is 5 kg for each member of the family by payment of Rs. 3 per kg.
Rice and dal under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) and Open Market Sale Scheme (OMSS) are supposed to be distributed at free of cost to every persons irrespective of whether the person is enrolled in the voter list of the assembly constituency that they stayed or not during this lockdown period. These include students, migrant workers, government employees who are staying at rent. While PMGKAY rice are allocated by the center for the respective constituency rice under OMSS are to be procured by the respective local MLA from the fund allocated to them for distribution to the people who are not enrolled in the voter lists.
There has been instruction from the government of India that PDS rice distribution by nominated PDS agents should be minimized.
For procurement of the rice under OMSS and maintenance of others to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, the center has already sanctioned a sum of Rs. 25 lakhs each to all MLAs. In addition to this the state government too has sanctioned 10 lakhs from their Local Area Development fund for utilization for the purpose.
Under the PMGKAY, each voter is entitled to get 5 kg of rice plus 1 kg of Musori dal. And for those who are not in the voter list are also entitle to get the similar amount of rice and dal under the OMSS.
When there are adequate allocations and had already sanction to ensure food for all under the various scheme many people of the state are deprive of rice.
Many have started questioning on the whereabouts of the rice which are meant for the non-voters or non card holders.