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State govt distributes 24.9 lakh quintal foodgrains in 4 days

State govt distributes 24.9 lakh quintal foodgrains in 4 days
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Kolkata: The state government has successfully distributed foodgrains that are entitled for the month of May in just four days among half of the 9.5 crore beneficiaries.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was the first across the country to distribute free-of-cost foodgrains among the beneficiaries for six months in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak. Subsequently, the state Food and Supplies department had ensured the same through 21,000 ration shops across Bengal.

After the successful distribution of the same in April, the state government has set a new record in May by ensuring distribution of foodgrains among 48 per cent of the total beneficiaries of the scheme. In just four days, 4.75 crores of the total 9.95 crore beneficiaries have collected their entitled ration by maintaining all lockdown norms including necessary physical distancing while standing in queues outside ration shops.

Around 24.9 lakh quintal foodgrains have been distributed in just four days. "It shows that there was need of foodgrains among people during the lockdown due to COVID-19 breakout and at the same time it proves that there was an overall full proof arrangement to distribute the same," said the state Home Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay while speaking to the media at Nabanna on Tuesday in the presence of Food and Supplies Department secretary Parwez Ahmad Siddiqui.

Stating that food and nourishment have been accorded as the topmost priority by the state government at this critical time, Bandyopadhyay said: "Out of the 9.95 crore beneficiaries, 9.30 crores possess digital ration cards while 65 lakh have received ration against coupons issued among them. The 65 lakh didn't receive digital ration card as the press was closed due to the lockdown."

Crushing of wheat had been a problem during the lockdown period. In such a situation the state government is giving an additional 5 kg rice to each of the 2.5 crore beneficiaries of RKSY scheme per month and the beneficiaries will be receiving the same for the next three months.

Stating that stringent measures have been taken against to check any sort of misappropriation in the distribution of foodgrains, Bandyopadhyay said that 359 dealers have been showcaused and 64 were suspended while 25 dealers were slapped with penalty ranging between Rs 15,000 to Rs 4 lakh. Enforcement Branch has lodged 45 cases and 50 were arrested. The state Food and Supplies department has showcaused

21 dealers in just four days in May.

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