Senior Congress leader and former CA&PD minister Taj Mohiuddin has welcomed the implementation of the National Food Security Act in the state by the PDP-BJP government, but with a pinch of salt.“Implementation of the Food Security Act in the state is welcome as it will benefit people at large. But I have reservations with the Act as to how the state can bear the huge expenses for buying ration form open market for the people who are excluded by the Act,” Taj told KNS. The former CA&PD minister said that state cannot afford to bear the cost of the ration which it has to buy from the open market.The Act will be "directly" implemented National Food Security Act in the state from February 1. As per the Act, 74.13 lakh persons from poor and marginalized sections of the society will be provided ration at highly-subsidized rates of Rs 2 per kg for atta and Rs 3 per kg for rice. Another 45 lakh people will also be provided atta @ Rs 8 per kg and rice @ Rs 10 per kg.
The center government will bear the cost for 74.13 lakh persons only, while the state government has to bear the cost for the left out persons.Taj said that the credit for the Act should be given to the Congress government for passing the Food Security Bill in the parliament which is going to benefit people across the country.“Congress is the architect of the Act, and now BJP and the state government here is projecting it as they have done it,” he said.He said that the previous coalition regime of National Conference and Congress opposed because the state wanted the centre to provide 100 per cent free ration to whole of Jammu and Kashmir.“We had argued before the then UPA government to provide 100 per cent free ration as per the Act as our state can bear the subsidy and the cost of the ration,” he said.
He said that the cities of Srinagar and Jammu will get least free ration because they don’t have BPL population.Peoples Democratic Front chairman and Independent legislator from Khansahib told KNS that people will have to wait till the benefit percolates to them.The former CA & PD minister said: “We can only say whether the Act is good for Jammu and Kashmir after it is practically implemented on February 1. The reality of the Act will be before us after February 1. Till then we have to hear only the government praising the Act and taking its credit for them." (KNS)