NFSA carriage contractors seek CM’s intervention in releasing pending bills

ITANAGAR, 16 Jun: The All Arunachal Pradesh PDS National Food Security Act Land Route Carriage Contractors Welfare Association in a memorandum to Chief Minister Pema Khandu sought his intervention for the release of the pending bills of the carriage contractors.

In its memorandum, the association said that the government has not released two years’ pending NFSA bills despite repeated pleas and reminders.

Besides the NFSA bills for the years 2019-2020 and 2020-2021, eight months’ transportation bills for rice, pulses and chickpeas under the PMGKAY and ANB schemes, which were transported during the nationwide Covid-19 lockdown period, are also pending, it said.

“Apart from our NFSA responsibilities, we were asked to carry out the Centre’s flagship programmes – the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY I & II) and the Atma Nirbhar Bharat (ANB) scheme – during the nationwide Covid-19 lockdown. We have dedicatedly involved ourselves in shouldering these extra burdens by investing all our working capitals, even though these were not the part of our contract agreement, due to which we are facing extreme financial hardships to transport monthly allotted rice under NFSA,” the memorandum said.

As per the NFSA, 2013, the memorandum said, advance payment shall be paid to the TPDS carriage contractors quarterly by the state government and the said bills shall be reimbursed by the central government.

“But it has never been implemented, because of which all carriage contractors are facing acute financial difficulties to transport the monthly allocated essential commodities under NFSA,” it said.

The association has threatened to resort to a non-cooperation movement and boycott further lifting and distribution of PMGKAY rice from July 2021 onwards if the pending bills are not released immediately.