Food grains now being distributed in J

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Srinagar, Nov 16 (UNI) The Jammu and Kashmir Government today said the foodgrains to consumers was being distributed in the state as per the approved norms of the Government of India.

Reacting to media reports about food scarcity hitting the Valley, a spokesperson of J&K government said the allocation of foodgrains to the state is made by the Government of India on the scale of 35 kg per family as per the basis of 2001 census population, irrespective of the number of persons comprising the family.

This scale is applicable throughout the country, including Jammu and Kashmir, he affirmed.

Clarifying the reason for providing more ration to consumers in the past, he said the market price of the grade of rice, which was being distributed by the Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution Department (CAPD), was only slightly higher than the CAPD rice.

Consequently many people were not drawing their quota from the CAPD and were, instead, purchasing from the open market.

However, with the recent inflation, the prices of almost all the essential commodities, including rice, rose steeply.

He said this considerable price difference resulted in the much higher off-take of the CAPD rice and increased demand.

The spokesman further said the State Government approached the Centre and was able to get 20,000 MTs of additional quota of rice for the month of September and October, 2008.

The Department has distributed almost 40,000 MTs of rice per month from July onwards as against the last years off-take of around 31,000 MTs of rice per month. Therefore, there is no substance in the news that the scale has been reduced or the quota of the fair price shops has been curtailed.

He said as regards to the availability of stocks with the Food Corporation of India in the Valley, the CAPD has been able to persuade the Food Corporation of India (FCI) to maintain enough buffer stocks in the Valley to meet any eventuality.

However, the purchase from the FCI can be made by the Department only to the extent the allocation is made by the Government of India.

He said full quota is being lifted from the FCI and there are no hurdles in purchasing the rice from FCI except that the lifting beyond the allocation is not permitted.

UNI BAS PY SK BST1930

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