Continuous improvement in PDS ensures food security for poor: Punnulal Mohale

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 07 Dec 2017 11:13:00


Staff Reporter,


Food, Civil Supply, Consumer Protection and Gramodyog Minister Punnulal Mohale said that under the leadership of
Chief Minister Dr Raman Singh in last 14 years, the state government has made continuous improvements in Public Distribution System, ensuring food for poor.

Mohale said Chhattisgarh is the first state of the country that made Food Security and Nutrition Security Act in year 2012, thus ensuring a step ahead towards malnutrition eradication and right to food for poor. Under PDS, nearly 57.72 lakh ration card holder families are being provided monthly supply of rice at only Rs 1/kg. Mohale informed that in year 2003, PDS coverage in Chhattisgarh was only 45 percent but after implementation of Mukhyamantri Khadyann Sahayta Yojana in year 2007-08 and Food and Nutrition Security Law in year 2012-13, PDS Coverage has increased to 82%.

Addressing media persons on achievements of his departments in last 14 years, Mohale said employment opportunities have been created extensively by promoting handloom fabric production, silk production, handicrafts and clay art in Gramodyog sector. Under support price policy, Chhattisgarh Government has made the best possible arrangement for paddy procurement. In last 14 years, 669 new procurement centres taking the total to 1992 today.
The number of registered farmers selling paddy in this duration has increased from eight lakh to 13.28 lakh in year 2016-17 and to more than 15.78 lakh in current kharif marketing year 2017-18.

Mohale said under PDS, state government spends nearly Rs 2200 crore on rice distribution, Rs 400 crore on chickpeas distribution and Rs 76 crore on free distribution of salt. In last 14 years, 4661 new ration shops have been opened in state, including which the number of fair price shops under PDS has increased from eight thousand 637 to 12,298 including 11,043 shops in rural areas. The entire responsibility of all fair price shops have been handed over to cooperative societies, women self-help groups, Gram Panchayats and forest security committees.

Mohale informed in last 14 years, 5260 fair price shops-cum-godowns have been built. In year 2003, ration shops used to get only Rs 8 per quintal as commission on rice distribution, which was increased to Rs 30 in year 2006 and to Rs 70 per quintal in year 2016. From year 2008, all the ration shops are being provided ration stock on credit. As a result, ration shops get their monthly stock in the first week of the month and card holders are getting ration on time. Mohale informed that Food Department has computerized the entire PDS system to ensure transparency.

Under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, 16.5 lakh women from poor families have been provided free domestic gas connections. In year 2003, only 6.8 lakh families had LPG connection, which has increased to 36.38 lakh at present. The LPG connection coverage in Chhattisgarh has increased from 34 percent to 65 percent. Mohale informed that Central Government is providing subsidy of nearly Rs 1600 per family to poor families under Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana. Chhattisgarh is the first and the only state of the country, where beneficiaries of this scheme are being provided double burner stove and first free refill at the nominal registration cost of Rs 200. For this, State Government is providing additional subsidy of nearly Rs 1500 per beneficiary.

At the press conference, Additional Chief Secretary (Gramodyog) Sunil Kujur, Secretary (Food) Richa Sharma and other senior officials concerned were also present.