Union min assesses implementation of NFSA

ITANAGAR, May 28: Union Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution CR Chaudhary arrived here on Monday and made an assessment of the implementation of the National Food Security Act (NFSA).
He also learned about the issues and challenges faced by the state in implementing the act.
During a meeting with state Food & Civil Supplies Minister Kamlung Mossang and top officials of the FCI regional office here, the MoS informed that his visit was aimed at assessing the ground realities in the state and to apprise the union government of the special incentives required by the state.
Mossang informed that the NFSA is being implemented successfully in the state since 1 April, 2016. He highlighted the status of beneficiary selection and digitization, grievance redressal mechanism, and reforms being carried out through computerization of TPDS.
The minister raised the issues and challenges being faced by the department in implementing the act in the state.
As per the notification in Sub-Rule(1) of Rule 7, the government of India has fixed the flat rate of interstate movement and handling (transportation) of food grains of AAY and PHH @ Rs 100 per quintal, with central and state sharing of 75:25 ratio respectively, irrespective of distances.
“As transportation at this rate is not feasible,” Mossang said, “the state government has to bear the major cost of transportation of food grains at the rate Rs 252 per quintal in the majority of districts categorized as hard districts.”
Also, he said, the state still lacks road connectivity in 14 administrative circles, especially in border areas.
The minister also informed the MoS that head-load transportation has been discontinued in the state since April 2016, after the implementation of the NFSA.
“Hence, the people living in inaccessible international border administrative circles are facing problems in receiving food grains on time, especially in air fed areas like Vijoynagar in Changlang, Damin in Kurung Kumey, and Lada in East Kameng district,” Mossang said.
“The carriage contractors are delivering food grains upto road-end points only, from which the beneficiaries have to collect their monthly entitlement of food grains by covering 50 to 157 kms on foot,” the minister added.
Mossang also informed that the present scale of issue at 5 kgs per month per person under the priority household category is not sufficient, and sought enhancement to 10 kgs per month per person.
He also requested that the Centre deploy cargo helicopters for 14 CPOs being presently air-fed, and to bear the freight charges, “as the pending liability of the state government for these operations is accruing to more than Rs 260 crore.”
The MoS assured to take up the issues and challenges raised by the state government. He advised the state government to “explore possibilities to availing open market sale scheme of FCI to fulfill the food deficit in the state.”
Officials of the LMCA department made a PowerPoint presentation on the activities of the department, and its achievements in the last few years. The department also submitted new schemes and proposals for the Centre’s consideration.
The meeting was attended by, among others, Legal Metrology and Consumer Affairs (LMCA) Parliamentary Secretary Laisam Simai, and the LMCA controller.