With the implementation of NFSA in offing in Jammu and Kashmir, there are various vital aspects of the act which merit assertion ahead of the implementation of the act in the state. Recently, Chief Secretary has informed Governor NN Vohra that the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Government of India, had allocated 34090.94 tonnes of food grains under AAY and Priority categories under NFSA for distribution to entitled households from February 2016 onwards. The monthly allocation of food grains to the State includes 24017.07 tonnes of rice and 10073.87 tonnes of wheat which would be distributed to the AAY and Priority House Holds (PHH) at the rate of Rs 3 per kg and Rs 2 per kg, respectively. In addition, 28499.15 tonnes of food grains have been allocated for meeting the requirement of tide-over population comprising 20077.65 tonnes of rice and 8421.50 tonnes of wheat. This allotment has cleared the way for the implementation of NFSA from February 2016 onwards. But the fact that galore n ground is that the state is yet to take various vital measures that would set the stage for the implementation of the new food act in the state. As per reports, the wrong information collected by the CAPD in the past are acting as a major impediment in the implementation of the act in Jammu and Kashmir state. Consumers of the CAPD have been issued forms for enrollment which are not only riddled with inaccuracies, but even the income of the families has not been registered properly in the records of the Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution (CAPD) department. There are also complaints coming to fore that the enrollment forms give wrong information about family incomes. Sources divulged further that the gender of the people has been registered incorrectly, raising several eye brows about the credibility NFSA in the state. Furthermore, there are reports that during the implementation of the new food act in the state, the Aadhar cards will act as the main point between the ration depots and the consumers. The government is yet to clarify how the card would store the information about the ration details of the consumers. Also, there is no initiative taken by the government for the installation of the card reading machines at the ration depots for the purpose. Such a situation is also hinting at government’s plan to delay the process further. Meanwhile, a senior official divulged that though the state government has made interim arrangements for the implementation of the new food act in the state, there are various loopholes that could dominate the entire picture. There are likely chaotic scenes to be witnessed at first but we all hope that the things would get better with days ahead. The question that continues to swirl around is that is Jammu and Kashmir state ready for the NFSA implementation. Its answer would only be given by time in the coming days.
2015 Kashmir Despatch