Minister assures adequate food grain supply
IMPHAL, 9th Apr: Acknowledging the hardships faced by the people of the state due to the lockdown enforced to contain COVID-19 pandemic, CAF&PD minister Karam Shyam has assured of adequate supply of food grains.
Addressing a press meet held at Chajing Mairenkhong community hall in the presence of CAF&PD commissioner W Bobby and director Y Ranjan, the minister said that the rice allocation under NFSA do not have any loopholes for misappropriation from the side of the government authority. As such, any claim or report of some individuals trying to make money out of the situation is baseless.
It is a crisis situation and everybody is engaged in helping one another in whatever way they could. It is not the time to blame one another but to work together, the minister stressed.
Further stating that it is unfortunate for the government and the people of the state to have an internal crisis within the government, he opined that the statement of deputy chief minister that UG groups hijack 600 bags of rice every month is baseless as there is no report or official order of such matter with the department. Even if there is any such matter, it is completely a personal matter of the respective MLA, he said.
The state government has procured 1002.5 MT rice for 2,00,500 AAY beneficiaries, and 11,281.405 MT for 22,56,281 priority household beneficiaries and the same will be distributed to the beneficiaries soon. There might be some local adjustment since the distribution is not limited to beneficiaries alone. The government’s order to its employees enjoying benefits under such schemes is a policy to provide the benefits to the deserving families, he said.
Maintaining that COVID-19 is akin to a natural calamity, the minister said that the state government had raised a demand of 10,000 MT rice to the Centre for open market sale. However, PM Modi instructed to distribute the free allocation first before sanctioning the additional rice, which would be available at the rate of Rs 22.50 per kg. Centre has sent 5000 quintal of rice for open market sale for the first phase with the assurance of delivering 10,000 quintal by the second phase, he said and added that the state will not face scarcity of food grains once the second phase allocation is delivered.
Regarding the complaint of getting reduced amount of rice raised by some individuals of Langthabal AC, Karam Shyam said that each family in all the 40 polling stations of his constituency, except for 3 or 4, were provided 20 kg of rice. In the remaining polling station areas, the local clubs and volunteers took control of the distribution and distributed equally to all families which resulted in each family getting only 10 kg of rice.
As for the backlog allocation of one month, he said that the allocation will be lifted soon and there is no question of the government misappropriating the allocation.