Amid fresh protests against the National Food Security Act (NFSA) in Kashmir, the government, buckling under pressure, Wednesday said that ration distributed per soul under the food law can be increased. “We are exploring as how we can increase the scale of ration distributed per soul under NFSA. We have made a proposal and will submit it soon to the government,” Director, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution (CAPD), Abdul Rashid War told reporters here. Protests have erupted in the Valley after the department said that the food law will be implemented this month. People have taken to streets in Srinagar localities of Bohrikadal, Khanyar and Khawja Bazar. Protests were held in Bandipora district. Protests, sit-in demonstrations and roadway blockages were carried out in parts of Kupwara district against the Act. Opposition parties and members of social activists carried out a massive protest in the frontier district Kupwara with consumers refusing to take ration under the law. People in Karnah, Tangdhar, Ramhaal, Trehgam, Kupwara town, and other adjacent areas refused to take ration and protested. Though district administration had directed the officials of CAPD to provide ration to the consumers under this Act, however they refused to take ration saying it will not meet their daily needs. The protesters said implementation of NFSA in the State is ploy to make people dependent on New Delhi for want of food grains. “The governments here have been befooling people from time to time. First they reduced the ration quota from 50 kg per card to 30 kg per card and now PDP and BJP are forcing consumers to get 3 Kg Rice and 2 Kg wheat under this act,” they said. The director said people are being misinformed about the Act and scale of ration. “We are rationalizing the system of public distribution of food grains and people will get ration properly. Some miscreants and people with vested interests are spreading false information among people about the law,” Var said. “Some people are also saying that they will get only 2kgs of wheat and 3 kgs of rice. This is not correct. It is actually the cost of ration and not the scale of ration,” he said. As per the new law, the government will provide subsidized ration to registered and eligible consumers in the scale of five kilos per soul. Earlier, the then PDP-BJP government had to firefight after the state was rocked with protests against the food law.
2015 Kashmir Despatch