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Mizoram revamps ration system: VIPs to lose benefits, subsidies cut for some

09:15 AM Jul 04, 2024 IST | NE NOW NEWS
UpdateAt: 09:15 AM Jul 04, 2024 IST
mizoram revamps ration system  vips to lose benefits  subsidies cut for some
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Aizawl: The Mizoram government will revise and restructure ration card holders and cut down subsidies to streamline the distribution of food grain (ration) and to mitigate the state's expenditure on ration, a minister said on Wednesday.

Mizoram Food, Civil Supply and Consumer Affairs minister B. Lalchhanzova said that the government has decided to revise beneficiaries covered under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) and those outside the NFSA based on their income level.

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"Any household living in urban areas whose annual income is less than Rs. 4 lakh and those living in rural areas, which receive less than Rs. 2.5 lakh in a year will be covered under the NFSA. Families, which fall outside these two categories will be treated as non-NFSA beneficiaries," the minister told a press conference on Wednesday.

Among the existing NFSA beneficiaries, the government will find well-to-do families or those not eligible to benefits under NFSA and accordingly register them as non-NFSA or white card holders, he said.

Similarly, any existing non-NFSA beneficiary whose annual income is less than 4 lakh for urban and Rs. 2.5 lakh for rural will be converted into NFSA beneficiaries, he said.

The minister said that the state cabinet in its meeting held on June 18 had decided to stop providing ration or foodgrains to chief ministers, ministers, legislators and Group A officers under the Centre or state governments and public sector undertakings.

The cabinet meeting also decided to reduce the subsidy given to non-NFSA beneficiaries from Rs. 25 per kilogram of rice to Rs. 10 per kilogram of rice, he said.

"By stopping ration to VIPs and Group A officers and by cutting down subsidy to non-NFSA card holders, we are expecting to save over Rs. 5.25 crore in a month and more than Rs 63 crore in a year from the purchase of foodgrains," Lalchhanzova said.

He said that the state's monthly requirement of rice to be distributed under the public distribution system is over 97,000 quintals.

Out of the 97,000 monthly requirements, 37,000 quintals are received free of cost under the NFSA, 14,900 quintals are bought at a subsidised rate and another 44,000 quintals are purchased at Rs. 4,000 per quintal through open market procurement, he said.

According to the minister, ration card holders are divided into three categories - yellow card holders (Antyodaya Anna Yojana or AAY), blue card holders (Priority Household or PHH) and white card holders (Non-NFSA).

The AAY and PHH beneficiaries are covered under the NFSA.

While AAY households, which constitute the poorest of the poor, are entitled to free 35 kg of foodgrains per family per month, priority households are entitled to free 5 kg of rice per person in a month and they are provided an additional 3 kg of rice per person at the rate of Rs 15 per kilogram

The white card holders or non-NFSA beneficiaries are provided 8 kg of rice per person per month at the subsidised rate of Rs. 15 per kilogram, the minister said.

He said that the white cardholder would have to buy 8 kg of rice per person per month at the rate of Rs 30 per kg after the revision of the subsidy.

All the changes will come into effect from October, he said.

Lalchhanzova said that any willing Group A officers can possess a NER card or card not entitled to ration.

He said that other rich families and successful businessmen will also be urged to convert their ration cards into NER cards (NER- Not Entitle to Ration).