MoS assures Mossang of enhancing FPS dealers’ margin

NEW DELHI, Aug 2: Union Minister of State for Consumer Affairs CR Choudhary has assured to enhance the fair price shop (FPS) dealers’ margin and transportation rate for NFSA food grains.
He gave this assurance when Arunachal Pradesh Food & Civil Supplies Minister Kamlung Mosang called on him at Krishi Bhavan here on Thursday.
Mossang called on the MoS twice in the last two days. On the first day, he submitted a 10-point memorandum to the MoS, who called for a detailed meeting on the second day with senior officers of the food & public distribution ministry to address the issues raised by the state minister.
Mosang apprised Choudhary of the issues relating to the implementation of the NFSA (National Food Security Act), and other challenges unique to the frontier and cash-strapped state.
“Presently, the FPS dealers’ margin is Rs 143 per quintal, which needs to be enhanced to Rs 200 per quintal for the viability of running FPS’ in remote locations. Moreover, a flat Rs 100 per quintal is fixed by the GoI for transportation of NFSA food grains, out of which the Centre and the state’s matching share is in the ratio of 75:25, irrespective of the distance covered, thereby forcing the state to bear the remaining Rs 252 per quintal against the actual transportation cost of Rs 327 per quintal to deliver food grains from the FCI base depots to the FPS,” Mosang said.
On his part, Choudhary also assured to allocate food grains under the welfare scheme for education institutions at an increased scale for the welfare institutions and hostels, to cater to 84,391 ST, SC and OBC boarder students.
This would ease the burden on the state government to feed these institutions, as there is no provision under the NFSA to allocate food grains for the purpose.
The MoS also assured to provide more funds for construction of godowns for advance storage of food grains.
Choudhury advised the state government to send a proposal for heli-lifting of NFSA food grains to the 14 air-fed administrative circles/CPO centres in the state. He said this after Mosang submitted that there is no surface communication in the international border areas of the state.
“The people residing along the international border areas are facing acute shortage of food grains as these places are not climatically suitable for cultivation, and there are no open market facilities and other sources of food grains. The people are not getting food grains on time due to problems in transporting food grains to these locations since the closure of the head load transport system. The only option to deliver the NFSA food grains to these people is through heli-lifting,” Mosang informed.
He said heli-lifting food grains to the people living along the international border areas would also stop them from migrating to the district headquarters and other urban areas, “as their migration would leave the international border with no inhabitants, which would be detrimental to national security.”
The MoS along with the senior officers from the food & public distribution ministry suggested to the state government to avail of the open market sale scheme to mitigate the ever-growing demand for food grains in the state.
They also advised the state government to prepare separate proposals for food grains required for natural calamities, law and order, and local festivals.
Mosang was accompanied by state food & civil supplies director Liyon Borang and OSD Amit Bengia during the meeting.