Nobody likes to lose anything, especially when is the line of the portfolios one carry in the government ministry. Same thing seems to have happened with the Civil Supplies minister Dayanand Mandrekar, who apparently became upset over the removal of Panchayats portfolio from him the by the Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar. According to the news published by the local daily in Goa, after losing the Panchayats portfolio, Dayanand Mandrekar staged the attack on the Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar, blaming on him for the delay in implementation of National Food Security Act (NFSA) in Goa.
Mandrekar was talking to the local media on the issue of NFSA. According to him the government of Goa does not seem to be serious about the NFSA, “I am not sure if the government is aware of the importance of this Act,” he said. According to him, the implementation of the Act was delayed due to the non-clearance from the Finance department which is held by the Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar.
Mandrekar has informed the media that the file was sent by him in the month of September 2014 was cleared in January 2015, “It took four months to clear the file which I would do in less than 15 minutes if it is in my department,” he said. He is not sure as why it was delayed for so long. He further informed that the file is with pending with the CM for past one month and it is still not cleared by the CM.
According to Mandrekar, Goa has missed the NFSA deadline thrice in last year and now has set the new deadline which is the end of October 2015, “My department is been working tirelessly for the past two months to meet the October deadline to implement the NFSA in Goa,” Mandrekar Said. He said that he has also requested the civil supplies ministry to extend the deadline by one month for Goa which is agreed by them. “I am monitoring the progress of work on day to day basis to make sure that the deadline is met and the scheme to be implemented within the time frame,” he added.
According to Mandrekar, almost 75% of the work is for NFSA implementation is completed and the Government Printing Press is printing the 7000 ration cards. Based on the information provided by the Director of Civil Supplies, Vikas Gaunekar there are 1.22 lakh ration card holders have been found eligible after verification and they will come under the NFSA. Out of the total annual quota of 59000 tonnes, around 32000 tonnes will be distributed to the BPL (bellow poverty line) segment and the rest will be distributed to the ration card holders of APL (above poverty line). According the sources, out of total 4.10 lakh ration card holders, at least 30% will be disqualified for not fulfilling the income limit criteria.
Based on the National Food Security Act, 2013, the central government has set some guidelines which make the provision to supply the food grains to two third of the 1.2 billion populations and based on the information provided by the Civil Supplies department in Goa this scheme will benefit only 5.32 lakh people.
Although it is necessary to streamline the ration card system and make it available only for the needy people (BPL) but one more thing is also necessary and that is the quality of the food grains they supply through the PDS which is many a time bellow the standard average. Hundreds of tons of food grains get spoiled in the government godowns and sometimes this spoiled rotted stuff supplied through the PDS and good stuff is sent for black-marketing. If our minister looks into this one issue then it will help to improve the NFSA. Let’s hope for the best and please do leave your most valuable comments and suggestions on this issue.
Edited by Goa Prism News Desk