L-G ‘rejects’ Delhi government’s doorstep delivery of ration
Anil Baijal on Wednesday asked the Delhi government to refer the proposal to the Centre, even as chief minister Arvind Kejriwal hit back by saying no such reference was required according to lawdelhi Updated: Mar 21, 2018 23:49 IST
New Delhi: The Delhi government’s flagship doorstep delivery of ration scheme and its decision to stall the use of electronic point of sale (ePoS) machines in fair price shops have become another flashpoint between it and the lieutenant-governor Anil Baijal.
Baijal on Wednesday asked the Delhi government to refer the proposal to the Centre, even as chief minister Arvind Kejriwal hit back by saying no such reference was required according to law.
Kejriwal on Wednesday said such an important measure was rejected by Baijal over “petty politics”.
“V sad that Hon’ble LG has rejected doorstep delivery of ration scheme. I had repeatedly requested him to give me an audience before taking a decision but he did not (sic). Feeling really really sad that such imp proposals are becoming victims of petty politics,” he had said on Twitter.
However, the L-G’s office in a statement said that Baijal did not reject the proposal of home delivery of ration. He, instead, advised that it be referred to the Centre with full details, including all implementation issues before a final decision is taken.
The L-G’s rejection of the scheme has come despite him lauding the project as a part of “good governance” in his inaugural speech at the budget session of the Delhi assembly on Friday.
On March 6, the Delhi Cabinet had passed the bill to ensure doorstep delivery of monthly ration to beneficiaries on a timely basis. Like all other proposals, this too needed the L-G’s sanction for its implementation.
Baijal also asked the Kejriwal government to reconsider stalling the e-PoS system at fair price shops. “Use of e-PoS devices facilitates portability i.e. the beneficiaries can choose to lift ration from any FPS of his/ her choice. This promotes competition and empowers the beneficiaries/consumers. L-G advises that the decision to suspend the operation of e-PoS devices be reconsidered,” a statement from the L-G house said.
Hitting out at Baijal, the AAP government said it was of the clear view that no reference to Central government was required in the matter and that the move of the L-G amounted to “killing” the “landmark” scheme for the poor.
The government also said that the L-G chose not to accept the Cabinet decisions on the basis of “motivated objections” made by some bureaucrats. “It appears that bureaucracy does not want this proposal to be implemented. The bureaucracy has fought tooth and nail to prevent it,” it said in a statement.
Kejriwal through another Tweet said that the L-G also rejected the Delhi Cabinet’s decision to stall the use of electronic point of sale (e-POS) devices at ration shops for those who procure monthly kitchen essentials.
“LG also rejects Cabinet’s decision to suspend operation of POS machines, which made Adhar mandatory to receive rations. POS machines causing huge problems to the poor people. Poor people will continue to suffer,” he tweeted.
The government, in a Cabinet meeting on February 20, had put the use of e-PoS machines in ration shops on hold after it received numerous complaints from beneficiaries who failed to get their monthly ration supplies. The e-PoS system was launched from January 1 this year and makes Aadhaar card mandatory for availing ration benefits.
Calling the doorstep delivery of ration “revolutionary”, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia had said the decision was taken keeping in mind instances where ration is stolen from shops, or when shops are shut, causing inconvenience to the beneficiary.
Early this year, following a tussle with top bureaucrat Anshu Prakash, the Aam Aadmi Party had also decided to stop Aadhaar being mandatory for distribution of ration.
“We have decided to put on hold the old decision to allow the distribution of ration through Aadhaar card. Therefore, it will go back to the old system for some time now. Aadhaar card will not be mandatory,” Sisodia had said on February 20.