Govt asked to supervise rice allocation

DIMAPUR, APR 4 (NPN) | Publish Date: 4/4/2019 1:13:02 PM IST

Nagaland Public Rights Awareness and Action Forum (NPRAAF) has appealed to the state government to supervise strictly the district-wise allocation of tide over rice quota. 

In a statement, the Forum claimed that it had discovered that distribution of tide over rice allocation was virtually non-existent in the State despite the fact that huge quantity of rice under the quota was allocated by the Centre. It asserted that this was an illegal act and punishable under Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. 

NPRAAF explained that entitlement of food grain per household is to be decided by the respective deputy commissioners (DCs) and sub-divisional officers (SDOs) along with the respective district assistant director of supplies (ADS), after taking into consideration the quantity of tide over allocation under National Food Security Act (NFSA), for those left out under the Act to ensure that Public Distribution System (PDS) is available to all. 

However, the forum alleged that the State government broke up and approved State’s stockist of tide over food grains in various local and enterprises’ names for a period of two years with effect from April 1, 2019 up to March 31, 2021 without properly identifying the targeted beneficiaries.

Alleging that the chief stockists are few non-Nagas, who pay up certain percentage to various organisations and government establishment against the tide over allocation, the forum said the food grains were re-packed and sold in open market at an exorbitant price, which the government is supposed to make available by little over Rs 400 per 50-kg sack pack.  

The per-month allocation of tide over rice with effect from April 2019 are as follows– Mokokchung: 400 MT; Longleng: 200 MT; Wokha: 180 MT; Phek: 200 MT; Kohima: 300 MT; Tuensang:125 MT; Kohima: 200 MT; Dimapur: 137.72 MT; Kiphire: 220 MT; Mon: 100; Peren: 100 MT; Dimapur: 310 MT; Mon: 100 MT; Phek: 100 MT; Dimapur: 200 MT; Peren: 100 MT; Mon: 100 MT; Zunheboto: 300 MT; Tuensang: 100 MT; Tuensang: 100 MT; Mon: 100 MT; and Wokha: 200 MT (can make it a box item).

The total district-wise allocation add up to 3,162.72 MT, which is over 30,00,000 kg or over 60,000 sacks of rice each weighing 50 kg, the statement added. 

According to NPRAAF, besides regular tide over allocation, Government of India had in the past also allocated additional quota twice against the state government’s request– 2,571 MT of rice at MSP derived prices to the people of Nagaland affected by natural calamity and also against Hornbill Festival- 1380 MTs of rice at MSP derived prices under tide over category. However, NPRAAF said the distribution of such huge quantity of rice allocation by the Centre was myth.

The Forum urged the State government to fairly and squarely distribute the tide over rice beginning from April 2019, instead of depriving the people their due rights under NFSA. It also urged the public to remain vigilant and claim their due rights under the scheme. 

Threatening to take up the matter with Government of India, if the State government continues to remain oblivious, NPRAAF said it would not take responsibility if the Centres puts embargo on tide over scheme to the State as a consequence. 

The Forum said it would also submit a memorandum to the State government in this regard. 

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