New Delhi, Mar 19 (PTI): The Union Food Ministry on Friday took strong objection to the Delhi government’s proposed new scheme on ‘door step delivery of ration’ using subsidised foodgrains provided under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), saying this is not allowed under the law.
However, the Centre will have no objection if the Delhi government comes out with a separate scheme without mixing the elements of the NFSA, it added.
Under the NFSA, passed by Parliament in 2013, the central government provides foodgrains to states for distribution to 81.35 crore people via the public distribution system (PDS) at a highly subsidised rate of Rs 1-3 per kg. In a letter written to the Delhi government, Joint Secretary in the Union Food Ministry S Jagannathan said the subsidised foodgrains being allocated by the central government for distribution under the NFSA “cannot be used for the operationalisation of any state specific/ other scheme under different name/nomenclature other than NFSA as the same is not permissible under the Act.” The official referred to the Delhi government’s February 20th notification issued for implementation of a state-specific scheme ‘Mukhya Mantri Ghar Ghar Ration Yojana’ (MMGGRY) for door step delivery of ration under PDS.
While states may like to enhance the distribution of subsidised foodgrains, including additional entitlements, more subsidy etc, the “nomenclature from NFSA to any local state scheme may be misinterpreted by the beneficiaries as state benefit and may give rise to confusion regarding their rights under the Act,” he said.
In this backdrop, the official said, the use of new nomenclature/scheme name for distribution of NFSA foodgrains by the Delhi government is “not permissible”.
However, the Centre will have no objection if a separate scheme is made by the state government without mixing the elements of the NFSA foodgrains, he said and requested the Delhi government to follow the norms and provisions of the NFSA in rightful spirit.
As per the ministry’s data, about 41.33 lakh tonnes of foodgrains have been allocated under the NFSA to Delhi government till February of the 2020-21 fiscal for distribution via PDS. Out of which, offtake has been 40.97 lakh tonnes.