Updated: August 31, 2021 4:17:49 am
The Mamata Banerjee government has issued guidelines to ration dealers in the state to start a pilot project of the “Duare Ration [ration at the doorstep]” initiative from September 12.
Food and Supplies Minister Rathin Ghosh on Monday said the pilot project would involve only 15 per cent of the almost 22,000 ration dealers in the state. Based on the findings, the initiative is expected to be expanded in more areas during the festive season in October.
The scheme, a pet project of the chief minister that she had promised ahead of the Assembly elections, is likely to benefit the ruling party in regions such as Jangalmahal and north Bengal, where a large section of the population travels a long distance to collect foodgrains from ration shops.
As per the guidelines issued on Saturday, ration dealers have to divide beneficiaries under their jurisdiction into 16 clusters, and designate a day month for the distribution of foodgrains in each cluster. The distributions will happen every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
“Our plan is to have a fixed distribution day in a month from the first Tuesday till the fourth Friday for all the 16 clusters. Dates of the month may vary but the day must be kept the same for each cluster in the upcoming months,” said a senior state administration official.
Some ration dealers have demanded a commission of Rs 200 per quintal of foodgrain, and another Rs 40 per quintal for packaging. At present, they get Rs 75 per quintal in total.
“We are considering a provision of additional commission to the dealers for distribution of foodgrains. Financial support in the form of subsidies for the procurement of vehicles to implement the programme is also under active consideration,” said the government official.
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