Store Keepers, Fair Price Shop Dealers Aghast
Srinagar: In a move that could prompt fair shop dealers to down their shutters, the government has reportedly curtailed rice and wheat quota for Kashmir Valley by over one lakh quintals.
Over 120371.62 quintals of foodgrain, both rice and wheat have been curtailed to Kashmir Valley as store keepers and fair price shop dealers have virtually locked their stores demanding supply of rice as per the desired quota, local news agency KNT reported Monday.
Quoting official sources, the report says that under National Food Security Act (NFSA), Government of Jammu and Kashmir, Directorate of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Kashmir has allocated 210849.89 quintals of foodgrain for the month of January 2021.
Last year in October, 331221.51 quintals of foodgrain had been allocated for Valley.
“This is a deficit of 120371.62 quintals of foodgrain and it is a huge margin that will affect people badly,” said an official on condition of anonymity.
For the month of January 2021, under Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) category, 30457.95 quintals of rice (50595.74 quintals in Nov 2020) have been procured. Under the same category 1321.60 quintals of wheat has been allocated while the figure in November 2020 was1488.11 quintals.
AAY type of ration card is given to impoverished families that do not have stable income. Unemployed people, women and old aged people fall under this category.
For the month of January 2021, under Priority Household (PHH) category, 98035.79 quintals of rice (155941.69 quintals in Nov 2020) have been procured. Under the same category 6620.00 quintals of wheat has been allocated for the current January month while the figure in November 2020 was 8207.46 quintals.
The families not covered under AAY, come under the PHH. The Government identifies priority household families under the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS).
For the month of January 2021, under Non- Priority Household (NPHH) category, 70701.04 quintals of rice (109239.08 quintals in Nov 2020) have been allocated. Under the same category 3713.51 quintals of wheat has been allocated for the current January month while the figure in November 2020 was 5749.43 quintals.
Quoting insiders, the report said that the field staff involved in distribution of foodgrain process is reluctant to supply ration to the consumers as they have also been directed to make sales through Adhar Cards.
“The fact is that only 60% population has Adhar Cards in Kashmir Valley. You can’t deprive those from ration who are not Adhar Card holders. We are scared of following new directions and unable to face people,” said a Store-Keeper.
Insiders added that today field staff and store keepers of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Kashmir in North Kashmir’s Sopore observed a strike demanding full quota of foodgrain. They said higher ups are reluctant to respond to the communiqué sent by the Director Food, urging them to supply full quota and stop forcing store-keepers to offer ration to the Adhar Card holders only.
Director, Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Bashir Ahmed said that curtailment of foodgrain is a part of the system. “Sometimes we procure more and sometimes less,” he said.
In response to another question, the Director said 100% of the population in Kashmir is Adhar Card holders.
Be Part of Quality Journalism
Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.