Patna, Bihar: Under the chairmanship of Food and Consumer Protection Minister Leshi Singh, a review meeting was held in Patna, Bihar, concerning the Targeted Public Distribution System. The meeting took place in the Collectorate’s auditorium. District Magistrate Ashutosh Kumar Verma presented bouquets to Honorable Minister Leshi Singh and Mr. Vinay Kumar, Secretary of the Food and Consumer Protection Department, as a mark of respect.
The Honorable Minister emphasized that there should be no leniency in inspecting shops within the Public Distribution System. This scheme is crucial for providing food grains to the underprivileged and is a significant government initiative. Minister Singh also called for regular meetings of the monitoring committee at both the subdivision and district levels. This platform helps in resolving complaints and suggestions effectively.
The Minister stressed the importance of informing public representatives about the monitoring committee’s activities. Additionally, she urged taking legal action upon receiving complaints about substandard food grains from PDS shops. She emphasized that the quantity and quality of food grains are non-negotiable.
DM SFC received directives to ensure smooth operation of PDS shops by enhancing coordination between the Assistant General Manager (AGM) and the Food Supply Inspector.
Minister Leshi Singh highlighted that Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s clear instruction is to ensure that no person goes to bed hungry. She instructed the sub-divisional officers to expedite the distribution of new ration cards to beneficiaries transparently by organizing camps in blocks. Public representatives must be informed about these camps. The Sub-Divisional Officer was also tasked with creating new ration cards for those in need. Officers were unequivocally instructed to adhere to government guidelines promptly. The Minister underscored that food donation holds immense significance as a form of charity and a moral responsibility. She urged attentiveness to consumer and public representative concerns and their swift resolution. Furthermore, better coordination with honorable MLAs was encouraged.
District Magistrate Ashutosh Kumar Verma pointed out that distributing food grains to consumers via PDS shops is our responsibility. He called upon officers to convert challenges into opportunities and complete tasks in a timely manner under departmental guidance. He emphasized that time management is critical in our democratic system. Patiently addressing and resolving issues was stressed. The District Magistrate offered comprehensive feedback on various aspects of food and consumer protection through a presentation.
A detailed overview of activities was presented by Amu Amla, the in-charge District Supply Officer, through the presentation.
MLAs Aruna Devi of Warisaliganj, Neetu Kumari of Hisua, Prakash Veer of Rajauli, and MLC Ashok Yadav all suggested that the District Compassionate Committee’s meetings should be conducted punctually.
Public representatives also requested ration distribution through PDS to residents living near Phulwaria Dam. The secretary assured that providing ration through PDS shops is their right, and necessary arrangements will be made.
Legislator Neetu Singh urged the swift distribution of pending ration cards.
Zilla Parishad President Pushpa Devi highlighted the importance of informing public representatives about camp setups. Food grain distribution for August 2023 commenced on August 4th, with July 2023 seeing a distribution increase to 92%.
The district has a total of 1125 PDS dealers, ranging from a maximum of 173 in one district to a minimum of 32 in Kashichak. The total number of Public Distribution System cards is 361,476, covering a total of 1,900,369 units.
The Secretary mentioned that efforts are underway to issue ration cards to registered migrant workers through the e-Shram Portal. The survey for 22,000 workers has been completed so far. The Secretary emphasized that beneficiaries should receive their food grains within 30 days. Clear instructions were given to officers regarding the non-distribution of spoiled food grains.
Pending shop licenses should be reinstated following a proper investigation to save consumers from the burden of fetching food grains from distant locations. Several necessary instructions were given to enhance the functioning of ration shops. Furthermore, instructions were issued to update ration cards by removing deceased individuals’ names and adding new beneficiaries.
Aadhaar card linkage has been achieved for 77.57% of people. The Secretary stressed the need to achieve 100% Aadhaar card linkage. This linkage is crucial for smooth ration distribution.
The meeting was attended by Akhilesh Kumar, Sub-Divisional Officer of Nawada Sadar, Aditya Kumar Piyush, Sub-Divisional Officer of Rajauli, Satyendra Prasad, District Public Relations Officer, Rajeev Ranjan, SDC, DM SFC, Block Supply Officer, AGM, and others.