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Sunday, June 13, 2021

Delhi puts doorstep delivery of ration on abeyance

On Thursday, the Delhi Food Department issued an order directing fair price shops to start disbursing ration among beneficiaries for the month of June from Friday.

Written by Sourav Roy Barman | New Delhi |
Updated: June 11, 2021 12:10:58 pm
A queue outside a ration distribution centre in Sangam Vihar on Thursday. (Express Photo: Gajendra Yadav)

Following stiff resistance from the Centre, the Delhi government has put on abeyance its plan to launch doorstep delivery of ration on a pilot basis by modifying an official order related to distribution of foodgrains under the public distribution system.

On Thursday, the Delhi Food Department issued an order directing fair price shops to start disbursing ration among beneficiaries for the month of June from Friday. The additional allocation made to each beneficiary under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) will also commence on the side.

Over and above their regular entitlement of 4 kg of wheat and 1 kg rice, each beneficiary will get additional 5 kg of foodgrains for free under the PMGKAY till Diwali, as announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 7.

The government had planned to launch the doorstep delivery of ration scheme at the Seemapuri circle. Accordingly, an order was issued in April saying that ration distribution at Seemapuri will be carried out through biometric verification using e-POS machines at all ration shops in the circle on a pilot basis, including at the ones “set up for doorstep delivery of foodgrains under National Food Security Act”.

At the other circles across the city, ration was to be distributed manually, as the Delhi government continues to keep the e-POS mechanism suspended.

However, the June 10 order omits the reference to doorstep delivery at Seemapuri. Instead, it mentions that only at Seemapuri e-POS will continue to be rolled out under the One Nation One Ration Card (ONORC) project of the Centre. The ONORC was first implemented at Seemapuri in April.

The Union Food Ministry had on June 8 written to Delhi Chief Secretary Vijay Dev to implement ONORC and use e-POS machines at all ration shops across all the 2005 fair price shops.

The Union Food and Public Distribution Ministry had also said last week that the Delhi government was free to procure additional food grains for the proposed doorstep delivery scheme under notified rates and launch it. Under the NFSA, highly subsidised food grains are allotted to the states for distribution through fair price shops popularly known as ration shops.

However, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal shot down the idea saying implementing such a suggestion would entail double expenditure. “Ration does belong to you or me, the BJP or the AAP, but the people of this country, ” he had written to the PM.

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