State food minister Saryu Roy said the state’s recommendation for cancelling the pilot project for direct transfer of food subsidy will be forwarded to the Centre this week.
The BJP ruled Jharkhand government has decided to ask the Centre to withdraw its pilot project for direct transfer of food subsidy into account of beneficiaries in place of ration as it was causing immense trouble to the poor and was violating the National Food Security law, said state food minister Saryu Roy.
Ranchi’s Nagri block was selected for country’s first large scale pilot, covering over 52,000 beneficiaries of ration card holders, for transferring food subsidy amount into their bank accounts and then allowing them to buy ration from fair price shops at the market rates. Earlier, the government had launched small DBT pilot projects involving a few hundred poor in Haryana, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.
State food minister Saryu Roy said, “We have got CM’s (Raghubar Das) approval. The state’s recommendation for cancelling the project will be forwarded to the Centre this week.” However, the final decision to withdraw the pilot will rest with the Centre, he added.
He admitted that the DBT of food subsidy was causing trouble to beneficiaries, as rules in the national food security act (NFSA) and DBT contradict each other.
An official in the food department, who did not wished to be quoted, explained: “Section-3 of NFSA clearly says beneficiaries should get ration every month as per their entitlements, while DBT rule says if ration is not bought, subsidy will not be paid. It means, if any beneficiary fails to buy ration within that month or exhausted the subsidy amount on other needs due to any reason, he will not be given the subsidy of/from next month (until proper explanation). He will be deprived of monthly ration, which violates the NFSA rule.”