‘Book all officials involved in manipulation of foodgrains under NFSA’

The chief secretary of Manipur has been urged to book all erring officials of Kangpokpi district involved in rampant corruption and alleged manipulation in distribution of food grains under National Food Security Act (NFSA)

The chief secretary of Manipur has been urged to book all erring officials of Kangpokpi district involved in rampant corruption and alleged manipulation in distribution of food grains under National Food Security Act (NFSA) by the Tangkhul Naga Foothills Organisation on Thursday.

The association also warns of taking the help of the law of court for deliverance of justice if the officials involved are not booked at the earliest.

The beneficiaries of  27 villages of Saikul and Island subdivision in particular and other villages under the district have been availing the benefits of both NFSA and Pradhan Mantri Kalyan Anna Yojna (PMGKAY) till the month of June 2020 without any break since March, the association claimed.

However, the department concerned under Kangpokpi district has stopped providing food grains under NFSA for the month of July without any rhyme and reason, thereby depriving the ' Right to Food' of the deserving beneficiaries, the association stated.

A letter submitted by the organisation to the chief secretary on Wednesday stated that the department concerned has also deducted 30 per cent of the total allocation of food grains under NFSA/ PMGKAY.

The action of the department by deducting 30 percent of food grains meant for the poor villages is not sustainable in the eyes of the law and for which, the department is liable to answer the public and punishable under the relevant law, it stated.

The rationing agents were provided only temporary slip with no specification of month at the time of depositing cash, thereby giving rooms for rampant manipulation and malpractices in the public distribution system, it further stated. In fact, the rationing agents shall have to provide original challan, specifying the month for the deposited amount, it added.

It stated that the guidelines of NFSA, 2013 (also right to food act) converts into legal entitlement for existing food security programmes of the government of India which includes the mid day meal scheme, integrated and child development services (ICDS) schemes.

In the Public Distribution System (PDS) under the provision of the bill, the beneficiaries are entitled to receive five kilograms per person per month and entitlement of existing AAY households will be protected at 35 kilograms per household per month at the rate of Rupees 3 per kilogram, the letter said.

It further stated that the Prime Minister of India introduced PMGKAY scheme as food security welfare scheme on 26 March 2020 in the wage of against COVID-19 pandemic and the same was extended till the month of November 2020.

This schemes aims to feed the poorest citizens of India by providing grain through the public distribution system to all the priority household (ration card holders and those identified by the Antyodaya Anna Yojana Scheme), providing five kilograms of rice or wheat per person and 1 kilogram of pulse to each family holding a ration card at each at free of cost every month till November, it added.

First Published:Sept. 3, 2020, 9:48 p.m.