Public distribution system in the state should be strengthened and strengthened: Chief Minister

Government's aim is to ensure that the consumers in the public distribution system get the allotted ration items regularly and on time. So the public distribution system in the state needs to be strengthened and strengthened. Chief Minister Professor (Dr.) Manik Saha said this in a review meeting of the Department of Food, Public Procurement and Consumer Affairs today. In this review meeting organized in the 2nd meeting room of the Secretariat, Minister of Food, Public Procurement and Consumer Affairs Department Sushanta Chowdhury, Chief Secretary of Revenue Department Punit Agarwal, Secretary of Food Department Ravel Hemendra Kumar, Chief Minister's Secretary Dr. Pradeep Kumar Chakraborty, Director of Food Department Nirmal Adhikari and other senior officers of the Department were present.

In the meeting, Chief Minister emphasized on regular inspection of various markets by legal metrology officers along with food inspectors. The Chief Minister said that regular visits to the markets benefit both buyers and sellers. The issue of increasing the amount of wheat allotted to the states by the central government under the public distribution system also dominated the discussion of the meeting.

In the review meeting, the Secretary of the Food Department, Ravel Hemendra Kumar presented information about the various activities of the department and the proposed action plan through Power Point presentation. He said that the department mainly works with four departments namely Food and Public Distribution, Civil Supplies, Consumer Courts and Consumer Welfare and Legal Metrology. He said that the number of fair price shops in the state is 2050. Of these, there are 290 fair price shops run by women. The number of fair price shops run by cooperatives is 167. There are 3 transit food warehouses in the state at AD Nagar, Dharmanagar and Udaipur. There are 137 food warehouses in the state with a total capacity of 75,600 metric tons. The department has plans to build 5 more new food warehouses. The secretary said that there are 9 lakh 61 thousand 726 ration card recipient families in the state. Total consumers are 37 lakh 27 thousand 638 people. Antyoday ration cards have been issued to 2983 Reang (Bru) refugee families in the state so far. He said that 125 families have been given priority house hold ration cards under the Chief Minister's Cha Sramik Kalyan Scheme. 'One Nation, One Ration Card' is in operation in the state. In this programme, workers working in brick kilns, tea plantations of different states are collecting ration material from ration shops of the state. The secretary said that paddy is being purchased at subsidized prices in 48 paddy purchasing centers in the state. As a result, about 90,000 farmers have benefited. From April 2023, distribution of fortified rice has started in the public distribution system across the state.

Highlighting the proposed action plan of the department in the meeting, Secretary Ravel Hemendra Kumar said that the plan to convert 765 ration shops into model ration shops is currently under process. A plan to issue PVC i.e. Smart Ration Card to all ration card holders has been adopted. Besides, the department has planned to give mustard oil as subsidy in public distribution system. An initiative is being taken to give 1 liter of mustard oil every three months. He said that there are consumer commissions in West Tripura, Gomati, Unkoti and Dhalai districts in the state. It has also been decided to set up three more District Commissions. In the meeting, the secretary of the department also discussed the activities of Legal Metrology in detail. He said that there is a separate office of Legal Metrology in every sub-division except 7 sub-divisions of the state.

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