CHIEF MINISTER Shivraj Singh Chouhan has asked his Cabinet colleagues, commissioners and collectors to undertake regular inspection of fair price shops in rural areas so that essential commodities including wheat, kerosene and other food grain items are easily made available to people belonging to the lower income group.
Chouhan also issued instructions for maintaining uniformity in allotment of foodgrains quota to all districts in order to ensure easy availability of wheat to ration cardholders. Chouhan was reviewing activities of Food and Civil Supplies Department at Vallabh Bhawan here on Monday.
Interestingly, no senior officer of the department was present in the meeting. While principal secretary of the department, A N Asthana is on leave, another senior officer who has been given charge of the department, Anshu Vaish, was not in town.
For the past few months, this department does not have any senior officer in its Directorate. Only MP State Civil Supplies Corporation Managing Director G K Shrivastava was present during the meeting.
During the meeting Chouhan directed officers concerned to initiate steps to prepare new ration cards and said their distribution would begin next month.
He suggested that allotment of wheat to all districts be made on the basis of their population so as to ensure easy availability of wheat to poor people. Similarly, every poor person whether he/she is living in rural or urban areas will now be getting four litres of kerosene. Until now, kerosene was being distributed at the rate of five litres per person in urban area and three litres in rural area.
Chief Minister also issued necessary guidelines to officers to put an effective check on black-marketing of kerosene. He said stern action should be taken against persons indulging in adulteration of petrol and diesel by mixing kerosene in it.
With regard to shortage of wheat and its rising prices, the meeting was informed that workers engaged in rural development works are now being paid cash amount as wages instead of foodgrains. It was also pointed out that the State was getting less allotment of wheat from the Government of India.
Those who attended the meeting included Agriculture Minister Chaudhary Chandrabhan Singh, Food and Civil Supplies Minister Gopal Bhargav, Chief Secretary Rakesh Sahni and senior officers of concerning departments.
Minister for Cooperatives Gopal Bhargav suggested if the operation of ration shops was entrusted to unemployed youth then it could help improve public distribution system to a great extent.