Paswan to Manjhi: Include Left-Out Food Scheme Beneficiaries

Paswan to Manjhi: Include Left-Out Food Scheme Beneficiaries

Union Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan today spoke to Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi and requested him to include the 60 per cent beneficiaries left out of the food scheme in the state.

"I talked to Manjhi over telephone for inclusion of the names of 60 per cent of beneficiaries in Bihar left out of the Food Security Act," Paswan told PTI.

In Bihar, as many as 1.58 crore families have been included under the Food Security Act, comprising 85 per cent of rural families and 74 per cent of urban families.

Paswan said he telephoned Manjhi over the issue after conducting a surprise inspection of a Food Corporation of India (FCI) godown in Phulwarisharif area of Patna town having capacity to store 50,000 tonnes of foodgrains.

The Union Food Minister said he also acquainted the Chief Minister with the complaints of people that they were not getting subsidised foodgrains for the past five to six months.

Paswan said he raised the issue of the state government not lifting its foodgrains quota, and informed Manjhi that the time for procuring the quota of April and May has been increased by three months. The Union minister urged the CM to get the quota lifted during this additional time.

Meanwhile, Bihar Food Minister Shyam Rajak today strongly rebutted Paswan's allegations that the state government was not lifting foodgrains quota on time.

"Instead of sending the quota of March in advance by February 1, the Centre made it available on March 4 this year. In view of limited storage capacity, the state government was facing problem in lifting accumulated 12.27 lakh tonnes of foodgrains of three months quota," he said in a statement.

He rubbished charges of delay in distribution of grains and said his government has computerised public distribution system and monitors the situation daily from headquarters.

Rajak said if Paswan was so worried about PDS in Bihar for which he has called a meeting here, the state government would think of doing away with all existing outlets and allot them to self-help groups, former soldiers and PACs (Primary Agriculture Cooperatives).

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