CM launches Duare Ration for more than 10 cr beneficiaries
KOLKATA: Launching another major outreach drive – Duare Ration – ensuring delivery of the free-of-cost ration at the doorstep of more than 10 crore people across Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday announced a series of initiatives that would help in better distribution of ration and lead to creation of 42,000 employment opportunities.
Keeping her pre-poll assurances, Banerjee has inaugurated the Duare Ration programme at Netaji Indoor Stadium on Tuesday and single-handedly sorted out the issues raised by ration dealers on spot ensuring that in no way her government's effort to help people get the free-of-cost ration at their doorsteps face any hurdle. She also inaugurated the Whatsapp chatbot for the Food department. Using the application, one can get all information about distribution of ration by sending a Whatsapp at 9903055505. She also introduced the Khadya Sathi Amar Ration mobile app and an application for Aadhar linking with ration cards that would enable a beneficiary to collect ration from any shop in the state.
Banerjee also attacked BJP for unnecessarily spreading canards about the state as one of their leaders tried to misinform the Bengalis in Uttarakhand about Bengal. She said all the schemes in the states including Duare Ration, Swasthya Sathi, Kanyashree, Duare Sarkar are role models for the entire country. This comes when Bengal's Duare Sarkar is being implemented in Goa.
She gave a patient hearing to the representatives of the ration dealers' associations, including All India Fair Price Shop Dealers Federation. After knowing about the issues, she held a
brief meeting with Food minister Rathin Ghosh, Forest minister and former Food minister
Jyotipriya Mallick, chief secretary HK Dwivedi and food secretary Parwez Ahmad Siddiqui on
the dais of the programme
itself and subsequently announced her government's decisions
extending all support to ration dealers.
She said vehicles carrying foodgrains under Duare Ration scheme would stop in such a place in a locality that in each term they have to cover the houses that are situated under 500 km from the spot. This will solve the problem as they do not have to cover a large number of houses in one go. The state government is also providing a subsidy worth Rs 1 lakh for ration dealers to buy a vehicle to deliver food grains at the doorsteps of beneficiaries.
Banerjee also announced that each of the 21,000 ration dealers can engage two helpers to implement the scheme. Earlier, there was no provision for ration dealers to engage helpers for the same. Each of them would be getting Rs 10,000 and the state government would bear half of their wages. There are 21,000 ration shops and 42,000 youths would get the jobs. "It would cost an additional Rs 160 crore to the state's exchequer. But for us, helping people get better facilities is more important. It would again create 42,000 job opportunities in the state," Banerjee said.
She also stressed on increasing ration shops and warehouses. She made another crucial announcement that the working capital to start a ration shop would be lowered to Rs 50,000. Earlier, it was reduced from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 1 lakh. "We want more ration shops to be set up. Let women also come forward to set up the same. In a bid to encourage setting up of more ration shops we are minimizing the working capital to Rs 50,000," she said adding that her government would have done more if the economy (that has nosedived worldwide due to Covid) would have been in good shape.
Banerjee has also announced that the minimum support price for procurement of paddy has been increased to Rs 1,940 from Rs 1,868. Around Rs 20 per quintal bonus would be given to encourage selling of paddy at Centralised Procurement Centres. This comes when the state's target is to procure 55 lakh metric tonne paddy this fiscal.