Centre assures to redress PDS crisis

Centre assures to redress PDS crisis

NEW DELHI, Jun 10: Chief Minister Kalikho Pul called on Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan and apprised him of measures being adopted by the state govt to revamp the public distribution system (PDS) in Arunachal Pradesh.

He informed that the state govt has decided to discontinue the head load system for distribution of PDS food grains, which would be now distributed through motorable roads where possible, and for inaccessible areas – helicopter sorties would be engaged.

The CM informed the Union minister that the state govt had decided to form a food and civil supplies corporation to ensure a more efficient PDS delivery, and it is also preparing a blueprint of comprehensive PDS reforms including a phased switch over to cash transfer model under DBT scheme for implementing provisions of National Food Security Act.

The state was contemplating on direct cash system of benefits to the end-users through banks, he added.

Seeking attention of the Union Minister on past issues of PDS payment, the CM hoped that the Centre would help the state in bringing a ‘fair’ resolution to settle past claims which are in excess of Rs 1066 crore.

He emphasized that there was a need to resolve the issues of past liabilities, which has assumed great urgency because the state govt had to pump funds into it from development heads which is impacting the growth of the State adversely.

The genesis of the problem, said the CM, lay in a circular issued by the Government of India in 2001, which had lent itself to a different interpretation by GoI and the State govt.

Govt of India held a series of deliberations to resolve the differences, which have remained inconclusive. As a result of this impasse, the people of Arunachal Pradesh have suffered on account of “disadvantaged” PDS, he said.

The Union Minister while extending his ‘support’ to resolve the issue of pending liability has assured to send officials from FCI to the state on June 18 next to take stock of the situation and to redress the “crisis” on humanitarian ground.

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