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Paswan slams Bihar govt for poor foodgrain delivery mechanism


Patna:  Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan today said many eligible beneficiaries in Bihar are not getting subsidised food grain under the National Food Security Act as fresh ration cards have not been issued to them.

Paswan was in the state capital today to chair an open discussion — Khadya Suraksha Panchayat — on implementation of National Food Security Act (NFSA) with all stakeholders, an official statement said today.

Paswan said: “His Ministry is pursuing Bihar government to implement NFSA effectively and a number of communications have been sent to the state government to complete all the remaining work for this purpose.”

He added that all the beneficiaries are yet to be issued fresh ration cards to avail subsidised foodgrain under the Act. Still a number of the eligible beneficiaries are not getting their food quota due to poor delivery mechanism.

“Out of the 8.71 crore beneficiaries in Bihar (85 per cent in rural areas and 74 per cent in urban area) under the Food Security Act, about 1.11 crore people have not been issued fresh ration cards for availing their food quota at subsidised rate of Rs two per kg wheat and Rs three per kg rice, even after rolling out of the Food Act in March 2014 in Bihar,” he said.

The Minister added that National Informatics Centre has urged the state government to upload the details of remaining beneficiaries on PDS portal, which is still awaited.

Meanwhile, Bihar has reported 49.74 lakh additional beneficiaries. But, they can get subsidised foodgrains under the Act only after their details are uploaded on PDS portal by the state government, the statement said.

According to central government’s data, About 8.71 crore people have been covered as beneficiaries in Bihar under the National Food Security Act (NFSA).

On the receipt of data of about 7.61 crore beneficiaries from the state, about 4.1 lakh tonne foodgrains are being provided by the Centre monthly which comes to about 49 lakh tonnes annually.

Paswan said the Centre is keen to make PDS system more transparent in Bihar by implementing end to end computerisation and a financial assistance of Rs 17.89 crore was provided to the state in 2013-2014.

Utilisation certificate from the state is still awaited for the release of more money for this purpose.

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