Kejriwal’s “FREE ration scheme: How Free is it? And why his party is lying?

6th June 2021

6th June 2021

Aam Admi Party says Union government has rejected their proposal to door-to-door delivery of free ration. But is it really free?

This so-called FREE scheme involves collection of “the cost of subsidised food grains and a specified amount of milling/conversion charges.” Now figure that out!

Now to the claim that this FREE scheme was rejected by the Centre. That poor were being denied FREE ration to poor. 

AAP was planning the secure this ration from the Public Distribution System (PDS) which comes under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) 2013. In other words, they were trying to change the direction of food distribution. 

Isn’t it Executive’s responsibility to ensure that rationed food goes where it is intended to? It’s not REJECTING your scheme: It says please go ahead; take extra ration from us. But in case you want to do it under the Food Security Act, you need to involve the concerned stakeholders. 

As per a report, the Delhi government has lifted all its quota of NFSA, i.e. 37,400 MT of grains and distributed 90% of the same. Also the Delhi government lifted 63,200 MT of ration under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) which amounts to 176% of the allocated grains in May. The Delhi government has distributed 73% of the same. 

Besides, the Centre grants additional ratio to the state if requested. However, there is no need to disrupt the existing pan Indian scheme under NFSA. 

The report claims that the Delhi government has failed to implement the One Nation One Ration Card (ONORC) scheme in Delhi despite several reminders. If implemented, it could’ve served more than a million migrant workers in Delhi without any additional cost to Delhi’s budget as the ration was allotted under NFSA. 

Now consider this: In 2018, the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) suspended the use of EPOS (Electronic Point of Sale) machines in approx 2,000 Fair Price Shops (FPSs). It’s now restored but still not fully functional for online PDS transactions. This affects transparency and rightful targeting under NFSA and PMGKA. 

While the national average of Aadhaar authentication of PDS transactions is almost 80 percent, it is nil in Delhi…,” the report adds. 

Now if GoI doesn’t get data on a daily basis on foodgrains distribution, it creates hurdles in allocation ration.

The government of India has termed the objections by the Delhi government as baseless. It has not BLOCKED the proposed State scheme of doorstep delivery.

(This story is largely based on a report appearing in OpIndia). 

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