Delhi’s ration scheme lacks clarity, started as a pilot project: Center

The Center said that Delhi should implement the door-to-door ration distribution scheme on a pilot basis. (file)

New Delhi:

The Center has suggested the Delhi government to implement the door-to-door ration distribution scheme on a pilot basis as there is no clarity on several fronts, including whether wheat flour and packaged food grains will be distributed and whether the consent of the beneficiaries was taken.

Under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), the whole food grains through the Public Distribution System (PDS) at highly subsidized rates of Rs 3 per kg (rice), Rs 2 per kg (wheat) and Re 1 per kg (coarse cereals). Distributed in India. ), also known as ration shop.

However, the proposed scheme of the Delhi government includes distribution of packaged items like wheat flour instead of wheat and rice.

In a letter to the Delhi government on June 22, the Union Food Ministry pointed out several challenges and concerns in the proposed home delivery scheme.

The ministry said that the proposed scheme “does not meet the statutory and functional requirement of NFSA and hence, the proposal made by GNCTD (Government of National Capital Territory) cannot be accepted”.

However, in the letter, the ministry suggested the state government to implement the proposed scheme on a pilot basis.

“There is no clarity on whether the scheme is being launched as a pilot in select areas or is being rolled out across Delhi in one go. It has been suggested to start on a pilot basis first.”

Highlighting several challenges in the scheme, the ministry said there is no clarity on the contract tenure of the delivery partner as it will have a direct impact on the cost and sustainability of food security of the beneficiaries.

Pointing out the lack of clarity on the rates of home delivery of ration to the beneficiaries, the ministry said, “It is underlined that, as per NFSA rules, wheat flour can be distributed only and at a higher issue price at reasonable rates.” NFSA beneficiaries after taking consent”.

It is not clear whether the consent of NFSA beneficiaries has been obtained by the state government on this aspect.

It is also unclear whether the packaged wheat flour and rice – which involves milling, processing and additional transportation and distribution costs – will be delivered to the beneficiaries at the existing subsidy rates or at higher rates.

It is not clear whether beneficiaries will be allowed to opt out of the home delivery scheme at any time during the year if they no longer want to depend on the scheme and are forced to bear higher monthly costs and move to the regular NFSA. want to do. Cereal, it added.

Further, the ministry said that there is no clarity on how the state government will maintain the addresses of the beneficiaries in the system to ensure seamless home delivery of packaged items every month, even in case of change in the address of the beneficiaries.

There is also no clarity on how the Delhi government will integrate the home delivery scheme with the Centre’s ration card portability facility and supply ration to migrants as tenants keep changing their temporary accommodation.

It is not clear how the state government plans to ensure the supply of monthly ration to the many road dwellers, rag pickers, migrant labourers, construction workers, rickshaw pullers, auto drivers – who do not have a permanent address in Delhi.

Against this background, the ministry again asked the Delhi government to take necessary steps to meet the pending obligation of NFSA, which is required to distribute food grains through Electronic Point of Sale (EPOS) machines to poor beneficiaries.

The Delhi government had planned to launch the scheme for doorstep delivery of ration in June, but it did not get approval from the Lieutenant Governor.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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