No discrimination in rice distribution: Officials

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Aizawl, Jul 18 (UNI) State food officials here today maintained that there is no discrimination in rice distribution in Mizoram following allegations that Chakma citizens in southern Mizoram were being discriminated.

''A central minister had complained to the Union Food Ministry of discrimination in the rice distribution system,'' state Food and Civil Supplies Commissioner T B C Rozara said here today.

''It is a baseless allegation and there is equal distribution in the entire state,'' he said.

Mr Rozara, talking to UNI on the sidelines of state Food Minister K Sangthuama's press meet, added that his department had sent a copy of the recent stock position in the entire Mizoram to the Union Ministry.

''However, the monthly rice allocation to the state (about 14,700 tonnes) is unable to meet the actual requirement of the state,'' he said.

The entire southern region of Mizoram is divided into two district civil supplies offices - Lunglei and Chhimtuipui. At present Lunglei DCSO has a total of 2,61,133.84 quintals of rice stock in its different public distribution centres. Chhimtuipui DCSO has a total of 14,10,771.31 quintals of rice stock.

Since Mizoram is reeling under acute rice shortage following the bamboo flowering (mautam) and its related rodent menace, the Food Minister asserted that his department officers and staff were working day and night for monsoon stocking.

He informed that the Centre had allotted 20,000 tonnes for monsoon stocking against 5,000 tonnes last year. Besides, the department was procuring as much rice as possible from other sources to ensure that no citizen of Mizoram dies of starvation.

UNI ZS DPM RD 1458

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