Imphal, April 25: The National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013, was on Monday formally launched in Manipur by Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh. However, some people said they were unaware of the scheme.
At a brief function at the office of the consumer, food and public distribution department at Sagaiprou in Imphal, Okram Ibobi flagged off some truckloads of rice to other towns in the state.
Under this provision, a consumer will get 5 kg of rice in a month at the rate of Rs.3 per kg, and flour at Rs.2 a kg.
In Sadar Hills sub-division of Senapati district, the scheme was launched by Irrigation and Flood Control Minister Ngamthang Haokip.
Distributing ration cards to beneficiaries, the minister said the scheme initiated by the erstwhile Congress government at the Centre will benefit the poor.
Officials said that out of over 28 lakh people, at least 24 lakh will be covered under the scheme in Manipur.
IANS met some of the residents to inquire whether they received their ration cards and whether they know about the fair-price shops from where they could buy the items.
The residents, however, said they had no idea about the scheme.
Some officials, meanwhile, told IANS that ration cards have not been distributed "fully" to the people in Imphal East and Imphal West districts.
The BJP's Manipur unit president Thounaojam Chaoba slammed the Congress government over the scheme.
"The Congress government in Manipur is going to spoil the scheme meant to benefit the poor. These ration cards should be issued by local body members as specified by the Act itself," Chaoba said.
"Flouting this rule, some Congress MLAs, ministers and parliamentary secretaries have been issuing the cards to selected people," he said.
"Some people were recently injured and hospitalised in Bishnupur district when clashes took place when one parliamentary secretary was distributing ration cards to his men and women," he said.
Chaoba also said that in Manipur, there was no fair-price shop that functioned properly, and ration card holders were not informed where to go to buy the subsidised rice and wheat.