In a significant move, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday decided to provide monthly free ration to all PDS card holders till November 2020 in a bid to mitigate their economic hardships caused by the pandemic.
The Delhi government will continue to provide free food grains to the National Food Security (NFS) beneficiaries in the national capital, the government said in a statement, adding that the ration distribution for this month will start phase-wise from July 8 onwards.
In Delhi, more than 17.54 lakh households get ration under the Public Distribution System (PDS) covered by the National Food Security Act. This scheme benefits nearly 71,40,938 people who get subsidized food grains. These include 68,465 Antodya Anna Yojna (AAY) households with 2,78,954 beneficiaries.
NFS beneficiaries are provided five kg food grains every month, including four kg wheat and one kg rice.
Regular entitlement under AAY category is 25 kg wheat per household, 10 kg rice per, household and one kg sugar per household.
The price is Rs two per kg for wheat and Rs three per kg for rice, which shall not be charged from the NFS beneficiaries while obtaining the ration from July till November.
Food and Civil Supplies Minister Imran Hussain said: “During the lockdown, the department has succeeded in its all-out efforts to meet the food requirements of the poor and vulnerable sections, including NFS beneficiaries. The Delhi government had earlier provided free ration to the NFS beneficiaries for April-June also.”
He cautioned that the ration beneficiaries should not pay anything for the food grains being provided to them. “In case beneficiaries face any problem in receiving ration free of cost at Fair Price Shops, they may contact officers of the F&S Department for immediate redressal,” he said.
The beneficiaries can lodge complaints with the respective Assistant Commissioner, Food Supplies Officer (FSO) or Food Supplies Inspector (FSI). They may also complain on the helpline number 1967 and other grievance redressal portals, including PGMS.
Hussain said that for effective management at Fair Price Shops, the government has deployed Civil Defence Volunteers to ensure social distancing norms and orderly distribution of food grains.
Departmental Officials, including Assistant Commissioners, Food Supply Officers and Food Supply Inspectors have been deployed in the field round the clock to facilitate the distribution of food grains.
“All department Officials and the distribution teams of Fair Price Shops are working seven days a week. Members of the Vigilance Committee are also actively monitoring the distribution process. Area MLAs, including Ministers, are also inspecting the Fair Price Shops from time to time to motivate the staff and to ensure smooth distribution,” said Hussain.