Imphal, Sept. 21
We are taking a revolutionary step whether it be in the interest of the consumers of the country or the Food Department. This was stated by Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Ram Vilas Paswan during the inauguration ceremony of the Food Storage Depot at Old Cachar Road, Bishnupur today.
The Food Storage Depot has a storage capacity of 4600 MT, the foundation stone of which was also laid by Paswan in 2015.
Karam Shyam, CAF & PD Minister of Manipur; Ravikant, IAS, Secretary(F&PD), Government of India, Ministry of Food, CAF&PD; D.V.Prasad,IAS, Chairman & Managing Director, Food Corporation of India; Anurag Gupta, Executive Director, FCI, North East Zone shared the dais with the Union Minister at the function.
Appreciating the Manipur Government for doing a great job, Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan
thanked the FCI officials for their work and team effort in bringing a full-fledged regional office of FCI here in Imphal by January 2020.Highlighting that 2 godowns have been inaugurated by the Prime Minister, he said that the Government will further try to open FCI godowns in almost all the districts of the North East.
He also said that he had discussed in detail NFSA issues, drought related problems and other related matters with the General Managers, ED & Secretaries of the North Eastern States yesterday.
Paswan also mentioned that post machines have been implemented in 14 states of the country in connection with the one nation one card scheme. While Tripura and Imphal have completed almost 100% and 86% targets respectively, Assam and Mizoram have comparatively achieved lesser targets, he added.
He also pointed out that the people of Manipur should try to get the benefits of Prime Minister’s Ayushman Yojana that gives 5 lakhs financial assistance per family in a year.
Giving clarification on the issue of black marketing of essential commodities, Minister Karam Shyam said that NFSA rice allocation is provided to the public every month through NFSA fair price agents after getting certification from local organizations and elected members’ nominees. The process has been carried out transparently in collaboration with the DCs , DSOs and local representatives and rice given on a second term basis only after proper certification, he assured.
Minister Shyam also informed that the total monthly rice allocation under NFSA for the state is 13, 380.740 metric tonnes out of which around 5,79,870 is reserved for the households. The number of beneficiaries is around 24,32,702 while the total number of fair price shop agents is 2,324, he also added.
He also stated that the land has already been furnished for constructing 6 more new godowns in Manipur.
It is really very unfortunate that for the first time in the history of Manipur, the price of rice per kg shoots up to more than Rs.50, he also said. He also assured that the current problem will be minimized if we get the 10,000 metric tonnes of rice from the Ministry that is supposed to be allocated in times of natural calamities.
Minister Shyam also clarified that the policy is now changed regarding allocation of SK oil . It has to be distributed per quarter to only those beneficiaries without proper electricity and gas.
In his vote of thanks, Anurag Gupta announced that construction of new godown at Churachandpur is in the pipeline and also mentioned that additional food grains are available under the open sales scheme in times of drought.
The Ministry of CAF& PD has advised the state Governments to accelerate the process of computerization of PDS operations and integrate the software of FCI and State Governments at the earliest to ensure end to end computerization of the process of procurement, storage and distribution of food grains and bring all round development to the North Eastern states.
It may be mentioned that FCI has implemented depot online system in most of its owned depots in the North East Zone. In 2019, more than 17,000 MT has been created in 3 locations of Manipur viz. Thoubal, Imphal East and Bishnupur.
Food Secretaries of the North Eastern States, related officials and staff of FCI Manipur and Food & Civil Supplies Department attended the function amongst others.