Following protests against the implementation of National Food Security Act (NFSA) in Srinagar, the government Saturday said that it will take a reasonable review of the demands of the people. Minister for Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution Choudhary Zulfikar Ali said that the government assures the people that it will not decrease the quantity of the ration under the Act. “The government is open to accommodate suggestions of the people about the Act. We will consider reasonable review of scaling up the quantity of ration which will be given to people as per the Food Security Act,” Ali told reporters here. Ruling out roll backing the Act, the minister said that the government has the mandate to increase the ration to the people. The Valley, especially Srinagar, has witnessed protests by people against the implementation of the food law in the state, as they believed that the government has reduced the supply of ration to the consumers. As per the food law, which will be implemented from February 2016, consumers will get ration as per their income. The government will provide atta at Rs 2 per kg and rice at Rs 3 per kg to the lower-income under Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY). About 74 lakh people in this group will benefit from the new food law. Each family in this category will get 35 kgs of ration a month, irrespective of the size of the family. The middle-income group will get atta at Rs 8 per kg and rice at Rs 10 per kg. Five kilograms of food grains will be provided to each member of a family in this group per month. Consumers in the high income will not get any ration. Ali said that the food law was for the benefit of the people and people should not protest against it. “There has been some sort of a communication gap between the government and the people over the Act. We assure people that it will benefit them, especially the poor and underprivileged class of people in the state,” he said. On the wrong date printed in the CAPD forms by the department, the minister said that forms can be corrected and the government will inquire as to why the date of the consumers has been filed wrongly.
2015 Kashmir Despatch