Srinagar – Belying the governments much-trumpeted claims of stocks sufficiency, the Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution (CAPD) department has, in a surprise development, slashed the monthly rationed rice quota for the valley consumers and limited the number of food grain-laden trucks dispatched from the main godown here for ration depots.
The CAPD minister, Qamar Ali Akhoon, had early this year announced release of additional 10 kilogram rice per head for the valley consumers. Accordingly, the people were supposed to get the rice at 45 kg per head with effect from August this year. However, the quota was restricted to 35 kg from September. Because of this, reports said, the consumers have been forced to procure their required food grains from the black market at a premium.
As if this were not enough, the department has also reduced the number of ration-laden trucks leaving the central godown here for various retail outlets in the city and elsewhere in the valley by 20 per cent.
Reports quoting CAPD sources said the reduction in the rice quota and dispatches had been occasioned by the lesser off-take by VIP ration card holders who did not draw their rations from various depots. At the same time, shortage of flour has also been reported from various areas of the valley. The depot holders have accused the authorities of providing them less food grains against their sanctioned quota.
It may be recalled the CAPD director, Mir Mushtaq Ahmad, had recently claimed that sufficient stocks of food grains were available in the valley. He had said three lakh quintal of rice, 45,000 quintal of wheat and 34,000 quintal of sugar was in stock to suffice for two months and that consumers would not face any scarcity. (KNS)
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