Terming the National Food Security Act (NFSA) anti-people and a persecution of the poor and underprivileged, National Conference General Secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar on Tuesday appealed to the Honourable Governor to immediately put the NFSA into abeyance and issue instructions to the Administration to provide 35 kgs of ration to every household as per the 2011 census figures. Addressing various public delegations, trade bodies and social workers from across the Valley at NC Headquarters in Srinagar, the NC General Secretary said the NFSA-induced ration crisis in the State is deplorable and unacceptable. Various public delegations informed the NC General Secretary of collective decisions made by locals across the Valley to not accept ration as per the NFSA guidelines. “I appeal to the Honourable Governor to put the NFSA implementation into abeyance and heed to the sufferings and misery of the people. The Government should immediately start distributing 35 kgs of ration per household as per the 2011 census figures. The NFSA implementation deprives around 4.5 lakh families of necessary, basic amounts of ration within Srinagar city alone. A continued delay by the Government to acknowledge growing public resentment and anger against this atrocity would be dangerous and counterproductive to the cause of peace and prosperity of the State”, the NC General Secretary said. The NC General Secretary said the previous Omar Abdullah-led State Government had opposed the implementation of the NFSA in the State after considering the implications of the Act on the people of the State. “Families belonging to both APL and BPL categories were being provided adequate ration by the previous Omar Abdullah-led Government. While ration allocation to the APL families will be completely halted under the NFSA guidelines, the allocation for BPL families too takes a severe hit and is compounded by new impeding formalities and unrealistic conditions. The very factors used to distinguish between BPL and APL families are ridiculous and out of sync with the realities in the State. If a household has a gas cylinder, a mobile phone connection, a television set or a tin-roof, the NFSA guidelines deems that family as an APL family and deprives it of basic amount of ration – as was being provided by the previous Government. This is an atrocity and an attempt to persecute the people”, the NC General Secretary added. “Is this the National Food Security Act or the Food Insecurity Act as far as people of J&K are concerned? The previous PDP-BJP Government enacted the law in the State by passing a resolution in the Cabinet while all Central Laws should be passed by the State Legislature before implementation in the State. The previous State Government led by Omar Abdullah had demanded that the Central Government removes the unrealistic conditions in the NFSA guidelines and also provides for allocation of ration to families in both the APL category and the BPL cateogry as per the NFSA guidelines and the 2011 census. Since the Central Government rejected these demands, the Omar Abdullah-led Government refused to allow the implementation of the National Food Security Act in the State despite persistent demands from the Central Government and our then alliance partner in the State”, Ali Mohammad Sagar stated. The NC General Secretary conducted an extensive tour of Srinagar and assured the people that the party would fight against this injustice and continue to stand up for the rights of the people. “It is our duty to protect the rights and interests of the people and our State and we will never allow such policies and Acts to become tools of persecution and harassment”, the NC General Secretary said.
2015 Kashmir Despatch