Jammu: Union Secretary Food and Public Distribution (F&PD) Department, Sudhanshu Pandey Saturday appreciated the working of the J&K Food and Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs (FCS&CA) Department.
An official spokesman in a statement issued here said that in a meeting held at the civil secretariat in Srinagar, Pandey who is on a two-day visit to J&K for reviewing the working of the FCS&CA Department appreciated the FCS&CA Department for achieving 100 percent Aadhar seeding, over 91 percent Aadhar authenticated transactions and other milestones within a short time.
He also appreciated the department for promoting the use of the PDS database for Ayushman Bharat verification in J&K.
Pandey highlighted the need to dispel doubts regarding fortified food grains and directed the officers to organise awareness campaigns.
“The grains have been fortified to provide essential nutrients to the consumers and the same message should be delivered effectively,” he said.
Elaborating on the government’s achievements, Pandey said, ‘The Union Government is spending a large amount of money to ensure food security of the public. Beating global trends of food inflation, the government dispensed food subsidies worth Rs 5,62,000 crore last year. Similarly, in J&K alone, the government is disbursing food grains worth Rs 5000 crore and spending Rs 4000 crore as food subsidy under PMGKY and NFSA ration supplies.”
He lauded the ‘One Nation One Ration Card’ scheme and said that due to it migratory workers and seasonal labourers among all other citizens were able to get rations at any place in the country.
Pandey advised the officers to collaborate with the Labour Department to conduct ground surveys to encourage workers and labourers to take benefit of the scheme and collect rations from the dealership of their choice and convenience.
He instructed the officers to encourage local procurement of food grains and suggested that the department should promote procuring food grains from local farmers through the Food Corporation of India (FCI) for further distribution.
“It will empower the farmers and reduce the cost of transportation and distribution, thereby benefitting the community,” Pandey said.
He informed the officers about the green fuel mission of India and elaborated on the department’s role in the green fuel mission.
“The 10 percent ethanol blending target has already been achieved and within the next two years, 20 percent concentration target will be achieved. Maize is a key ingredient of ethanol production and the same could be procured from local farmers, thereby supporting them in return,” Pandey said. “All-out efforts should be made for setting up of ethanol production plants and procurement of maize from the farmers. The residual products could be utilised in poultry and animal husbandry sectors.”
He said that India’s handling of food security during the COVID-19 crisis had been globally acknowledged and applauded at several international forums including the World Trade Organisation, United Nations World Food Programme, and a ministers’ meeting at the international level.
“In addition to serving its people, the government also helped people from other nations during these crises,” Pandey said.
Earlier, a detailed presentation was made by Commissioner Secretary FCS&CA, Zubair Ahmad to present the efforts of the department in making PDS in J&K transparent, credible, and dependable, where Pandey was informed that e-POS machines have been installed at all 6735 sale outlets in J&K, 100 percent Aadhar seeding had been achieved at all levels in PDS and Aadhar-drawn transactions had crossed 91 percent.
He was apprised that J&K stands 9th in India in terms of the number of transactions made so far under the ‘One Nation One Ration Card’ scheme.
Pandey was also apprised that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) had also been signed with CSC e-Governance Services India Ltd to leverage ePoS devices to deliver CSC services while 2633 outlets had been provided IDs and 769 of these were already active.
He was informed that WhatsApp helpline numbers 9419600009 for Kashmir and 9055224552 for Jammu had been introduced by the department while over 1 million bogus and duplicate beneficiaries had been removed from the records.
Earlier, Pandey visited several fair price shops at Katra and Jammu and inspected their setup and facilities.
He interacted with the locals and took their feedback.
Pandey also inspected the new food store at Nagrota and suggested measures for modern management and development of the facility.
Commissioner Secretary FCS&CA Zubair Ahmad, Director FCS&CA Jammu Naseem Javaid, General Manager FCI Jammu H S Dhaliwal, and Joint Director FCS&CA Jammu Ashok Kumar were also present at the meeting.