LG Manoj Sinha announces 10 kg additional ration for over 57 lakh priority households in J&K at subsidized rates

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Says 14.32 lakh ration card holders to be covered under PM’s FSS for priority households; no alternative to smart meters; power debt mounted to Rs 31000 Cr in last 4 years; work on for alternate stretch at Panthal on NH; Yatra suspended due to bad weather; SSB exam dates to be out within 15 days

Abid Bashir

 Jammu and Kashmir’s Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha Saturday announced 10 kg additional ration at subsidized rates for priority households of UT under Prime Minister’s Food Supplementation Scheme for Priority households. He also said that there was no alternative to the smart meters as power debt bills for J&K mounted to Rs 31000 Crore in the past four years.

Addressing a press conference at Rajbhawan here, the LG as per news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) said that priority households in J&K are already getting 5 kg ration free per member per family. “From now onwards, 10 kg additional ration will be provided to each family covered under priority  households. In J&K, 14.32 lakh ration card holders and 57,24000 families will be covered under Prime Minister’s FSS for priority households in the UT,” he said, adding that welfare of the poor was the top priority of J&K administration.

He said the additional 10 kg ration will be provided at the rate of Rs 25 per kg.  “This will cost Rs 1.80 Cr to the UT government annually,” the LG said, adding that against the Rs 34 per kg rate of rice, people coming under the PM’s FSS for priority households will have to pay only Rs 25 per kg. “There is a subsidy of Rs 9,” he said. “People falling in the category of priority households were already getting a 4 kg ration per person free of cost. So if there are four family members, they will get 16 kg free ration plus 10 kg additional rice at the subsidized rates,” the LG said.

To a query about delay in SSB recruitment, he said that in early exams there were complaints of irregularities after which a CBI probe was initiated. “The matter is before the High Court and once the decision comes, exams will be held. For fresh posts, exams dates will be announced within 15 days,” the LG said.

About steps taken by the administration in view of caving in of a road stretch at Panthal, the LG said that efforts are on to make alternate road ready within  three days to facilitate Amarnath pilgrims. “The permanent solution is once the tunnel is completed,” he said.

Asked whether the government would announce any sort of relaxation for poor in power tariff, the LG said that people will have to pay power bills as per their usage. “In the past four years, power tariff bills mounted to Rs 31000 Crore,” he said. The LG said that due to the rains, Amarnath Yatra has been suspended and he was hopeful that the weather improves by tomorrow so that pilgrims proceed towards cave shrine

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