SHILLONG, July 09: The Civil Society Women Organisation (CSWO) has alleged that deserving beneficiaries under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) are being charged beyond the specified price that is fixed by the government for the PDS.
“The actual price for the Priority House Hold (PHH) earlier called the BPL category rice is Rs 3- per kg while the beneficiaries are being charged between Rs 5 to Rs 10,” alleged CSWO President Agnes Kharshiing in a press communiqué on Sunday.
She said that in Mawsiangei, village in East Khasi Hills District which falls under Shella Bholaganj Block, villagers, under the PHH category of the NFSA, are compelled to pay Rs 10- per kg and this is decided by the village Dorbar and agreed to even by the Vigilance Committee who are all male members.
Kharshiing informed that Dran Khongphai of Mawsiangei village met the CSWO and brought to light the anomalies.
According to Khongpai out of the 30 KG that is allotted for 6 in the household only 24 kg is distributed to her and her family, and this is reflected in her Ration card.
“As per the NFSA, every person belonging to priority households, shall be entitled to receive five kg of food-grains per person per month at subsidized prices from the ration shops not exceeding Rupees 3 per kg of rice, Rupees 2 per kg of wheat, but inspite of repeated orders those who are complaining are being reprimanded instead,” Kharshiing said.
The CSWO also alleged that when Khongphai, inquired the Sub Inspector Supply Sohra, Z Kharkongor, with regards to the ‘Redressal of the online State Public Grievance’, she was reprimanded, by the official and cautioned that if she refuses to sign a peace bond, then she will lose out on the scheme.
“This is sarcastic statement by this official and the organization warns such Government servants that the law will pull them up and the CSWO will take them to the court of law through a PIL if they are indifferent to the common man, as this is Right to food of the poor and the public cannot be ridiculed by those sitting in the realm of power,” Kharshiing cautioned.
Stating that these are threat tactics and will not be tolerated at all, Kharshiing said, “The Ration card in this case itself is proof of anomalies and instead of taking action against the dealer the sub inspector is asking the beneficiary to sign a peace bond instead”.
Kharshiing further said that on inquiring, if the distribution is done for the whole month, the CSWO was informed that the PDS is distributed only for one day in this village and those who fail to collect the PDS within the specified date given by the dealer they are denied their entitlements.
“This is the situation prevalent in many villages where the CSWO is getting complaints that the NFSA is not at all being complied with by many dealers, in connivance with some village heads of Dorbars along with some Government Servants,” Kharshiing said.
“It is the role of the State to check the abuse and violation of this Act, and the CSWO warns the Government servants who have been entrusted with their duties, to see that the poor are not deprived of their entitlements and that dealers adhere to their roles as agents of the State and that also the Government should not at all delay the transport subsidy entitled to the dealers as this affects the beneficiaries who are asked to pay extra,” Kharshiing added.