Mangaluru, oct 18,2016: Chairing a grievance meeting of the Department with officials and fair price shopowners at the Taluk Panchayat hall in Mangaluru on Oct 17, Monday, Food and Civil Supplies Minister U T Khader, the state government has been trying to amend the law to punish those who furnish fake information to receive foodgrains under the PDS system. The minister said that there are complaints on many people getting foodgrains from such shops although they are financially sound. The government has thought about punishing those who misuse the system by providing false information.
Food Minister Khader further said, "Many rules in the Department have been relaxed. Instead of APL and BPL, priority and non-priority terms are used to identify the ration cards. Processes like application for ration cards and correction in the ration cards have been simplified. The Food and Civil Supplies Department was brought under Sakala." The minister said that the schemes of the state government can reach people only if fair price shops function properly.
"Fair price shops are not meant for profit-making. There are complaints of some shops opening late and closing before the expected time, which should not happen. No compromise will be made with the quality of foodgrains distributed in fair price shops. If poor quality grains are supplied, stern action will be taken against the guilty. If, however, the shops get such foodgrains from the godowns, they should immediately return the grains. The managers of the godowns should immediately exchange them with good quality items," Khader instructed.
He also instructed the shopowners not to run fair price shops in dilapidated conditions. "It is also very important to maintain cleanliness at the shops. If the shopowners are unable to run the shops, however, they can give up voluntarily, informing the Department two months earlier," Khader said.
Plans ahead : The minister said that coupon generating centres will be opened in rural areas as well, based on the availability of broadband and power supply. The respective gram panchayats should conduct meetings in this regard. Four centres have been opened in Ullal today, he added.
"The process of linking Aadhaar cards with the ration cards will be facilitated through gram panchayats in the days to come. Ration cards will be provided at the doorstep of seriously ailing patients and disabled people, who have applied for the cards. There will also be a relaxation of six months to get coupons. The supply of kerosene is expected to be discontinued for those who subscribe to the Ujwala scheme of the Central government, under which LPG connection will be provided. The state government, therefore, has plans to provide LPG cylinders to the beneficiaries. Also, there are plans to provide kerosene in open market," the minister added.
Minister Khader said that the Department is in the reformative stage. "Some errors are expected to occur, but they are unintentional and will be rectified," he said and added that other shortcomings will also be looked into.
There were suggestions to provide coconut oil and tur dal as an alternative to palm oil and wheat. Food and Civil Supplies Department deputy director Jayakumar said that the fair price shopowners should not refuse to give foodgrains or kerosene, if the coupon code is not accepted. "This happens due to the busy server. The shopowners should, instead, note down the ration card number and inform the same to the food inspector. The foodgrains and kerosene should be issued on the submission of coupon code by the customers," Jayakumar explained.
Mangaluru Taluk Panchayat president U K Monu, Taluk Panchayat members and owners of fair price shops participated.