Governor N.N. Vohra, in a meeting held today, reviewed the preparedness level for implementation of the NFSA in the State from February 2016. The Governor directed the Chief Secretary to ensure that, in accordance with the decision already taken by the erstwhile government, the NFSA is implemented in the State w.e.f. February 2016. The meeting was attended by B.R. Sharma, Chief Secretary, P.K. Tripathi, Principal Secretary to Governor and Saurabh Bhagat, Secretary, Consumers Affairs and Public Distribution. The Governor was informed that with the implementation of NFSA in the State, food grains at highly subsidized rates shall be provided to 74.13 lakh persons at their doorsteps, as against the present number of 13.70 lakh persons. Further, the overall coverage of the Public Distribution System will get expanded to 119.50 lakh persons, as per 2011 Census, as against the existing figure of 99 lakh persons based on the 2001 Census. NFSA shall provide highly subsidized rations @ Rs. 2/- (Atta) and Rs. 3/- (Rice) to 74.13 lac souls. Further, another 45 lac people will get rations @ Rs. 8/- (Atta) and Rs. 10/- (Rice), thus covering more than 95% of the total population of the State. Access to food grains shall now be a matter of right and any failure to deliver rations to the beneficiary shall entitle him to Food Security Allowance. Once fully implemented, the present paper based ration card system will be replaced by a completely electronic Aadhar enabled Ration e-Ticket which shall be available for scrutiny on the web portal of the CA&PD department besides being seen on the websites of the districts, accessible to one and all. Implementation of NFSA will also ensure eradication of bogus ration cards. Chief Secretary informed the Governor that he had undertaken a detailed review through video conferencing with all the Deputy Commissioners on 28th January, 2016. The Governor directed that the timelines, as already finalised by the Chief Secretary in his meeting with the Deputy Commissioners on 28thJanuary, 2016, should be strictly implemented and no slippages whatsoever allowed to take place. It was reported that the completion of fidelity process for priority data base i.e. AAY, BPL and other priority segments shall be hosted on the portal and ration cards issued in 18 districts by 5th of February and in the remaining 4 districts by 10th February, 2016. Similarly, the completion of fidelity process for the entire data base, its hosting on the portal and issuance of Ration Cards is expected to be completed by 15th February in all the districts except in Jammu where it will be completed by 25th February, 2016. Governor directed the Chief Secretary that the officers/ officials in the districts who have done good work in ensuring timely completion of this work should be identified and accorded recognition, for which the Governor would host a special function at the Raj Bhavan. The Governor also directed that all relevant information about the implementation of NFSA should be widely publicised by the Information Department to create awareness among the people. CA&PD department will also intensify its awareness-cum-training programme for field functionaries at the cutting edge level to familiarize them and the people about the salient features of NFSA. While noting the progress in regard to the Aadhar seeding of beneficiaries in the last two months to about 45% at the State level and upto 70% in half a dozen districts, the Governor directed the Chief Secretary to ensure that the pace of Aadhar seeding is further accelerated. The Governor was informed that the criteria already notified for the identification of priority and non priority households under NFSA provides for inclusion of the existing AAY and BPL beneficiaries, households having meagre monthly income, houseless and landless, widows, orphans, destitute; militancy and violence affected families in the low income group; leprosy patients and domestic house maids; weaker sections; nomadic families; old age pension holders; specially abled / physically handicapped, inhabitants having kuchha houses, families displaced due to natural calamity, labourers and workers, slum dwellers and any other deserving families identified by competent authority not included above. The criteria also provides for the exclusion of businessmen having business a turnover of Rs. 25 lacs per year, income tax payees in the @30% slab or highest tax slab, persons having land holdings above 80 kanals in the case of individuals and 250 kanals in the case of a joint family (based on self declaration), all gazetted officers or equivalent rank in the Corporations, Boards, PSUs etc. and all persons holding Constitutional authority/positions. All the persons who are not included in either of the above criteria groups, will be included in the Non Priority category.
2015 Kashmir Despatch