Srinagar, Dec 14: Governor led administration has decided to do away with the purchase and distribution of sugar among the consumers in the State from next year.
According to the sources, the decision was taken on December 5 during the planning committee’s meeting of Food Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Department. The meeting held under the chairmanship of Principal Secretary Finance, Navin K Choudhary took the decision, observing that the sugar was now available in open market, sources said.
Presently, only two categories – BPL and AAY – would get sugar from the ration depots set up by the department.
“The sugar was distributed by the department among consumers belonging to BPL and AAY. Both categories comprised a poor population of the state and this decision will severely impact them,” they added.
If sources are to be believed, the government has also decided to close Mufti Mohammad Sayeed Food Entitlement Scheme. “All these decisions will have a telling impact on the people of the state,” sources said.
A senior official of the department, wishing not to be named, said that the importance attached to the department has been severally impacted and the government needs to rethink about it.
Secretary Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Dr Abdul Rashid obliquely admitted the stoppage of sugar distribution from next year even as he said: “all depends on the budget” on Saturday.
“The sugar is not an essential commodity and the state used to give extra subsidy over it. I think there are some financial constraints. However, no final decision has been taken. Whether or not any funds are kept for it would be known when the budget is revealed,” Dr Rashid told media.
Regarding kerosene, he said the quota is decided by the Government of India’s Ministry of Petroleum and it has decreased it by 30-40%. “The kerosene is being supplied to the particular category of people and purposes are only cooking and illumination,” he said, adding, “If we look in our state, there is technically almost cent percent electrification and LPG is in almost every household now.”
Regarding atta (flour), Dr Rashid said there is no issue as regards its supply and it is being supplied to the consumers as usual. “There is no plan to do away with the distribution of the atta,” the officer added.
Created in 1931 by Maharaja Hari Singh, FCS&CA department was meant to ensure that the people of the state get ration and other amenities at the affordable price, and also to control food prices.
The department would distribute tin for house trusses, charcoal, cement, pulses (dals), and salt besides rice, flour, sugar and kerosene.
Over the years, the supplies assigned to the department have been reduced drastically, leaving it with the task of distributing rice, sugar, atta (flour) and kerosene oil.
The kerosene distribution has also been markedly reduced and in the last five years, and no atta (flour) was distributed in Srinagar and some other districts in last six months as same was dumped for distribution to the border areas.
Jammu airport to function till 9 PM
Jammu, Jan 19: The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has decided to extend the watch hours’ upto 9:00 PM at the Jammu Airport.
In a communication to the State Government, AAI has conveyed that it is ready to handle extended ‘watch hours’ operations at Jammu Airport. As and when the airlines submit their flight schedule, AAI will permit these operations.
The extension in the watch hours’ will enable flights to take off and land at the Jammu Airport during the late evening hours thereby increasing the number of flights moving in and out from Jammu.
Presently, the run way watch hours’ for the flights operating at the Airport are from 8 AM to 5 PM.
This decision will provide the much needed boost to various sectors particularly tourism and pilgrims to Shri Mata Vaishno Devi.
The State Government has been repeatedly requesting the Central Government, Ministry of Defence and AAI to extend the watch hours’ at the Srinagar and Jammu Airports to enable late evening flights for the convenience of passengers/tourists.
Principal Secretary, Civil Aviation Department has been asked to liaise with Airport Authorities, security agencies and airlines to work out the modalities for commencement of evening flights from/to Jammu.
Rajouri man killed in Saudi two weeks back, family demands MEA to help bring body home
Rajouri: A 44-year-old man from Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir was killed after being hit with some sharp object in Saudi Arabia, his family said on Saturday.
The poor family has no means to bring the body back home and urged the government of India through Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) to see that the body is brought to Rajouri for last rites. “We came to know that the body is lying there in a mortuary since the last couple of weeks”.
“Mohammad Khalil Mirza (44) son of Haji Mohammad Azam Mirza of Malhut, Darhal, Rajouri was killed after being hit by some persons with a sharp object at Amaan area of Riyadh where he was working as a labourer,” Mohammad Amin Mirza, brother of the deceased said.
He said that the family lost contact with Khalil from December 22, last month and despite best efforts, the family was unable to find his whereabouts.
“Yesterday a person from Pakistan administered Kashmir called us and informed that Khalil Mirza’s body is lying in a mortuary and he his body was found with an injury in his head,” Amin said.
“We are very poor and we request the government of India especially Minister of external affairs to ensure that body is brought to Rajouri for last rites,” Amin said.
The family also demanded proper investigations and stern punishment to those responsible for his death and provide due compensation to them.
PM Modi failed to fulfill promises made to people: IYC
Srinagar, Jan 19: National president, Indian Youth Congress (IYC) Keshav Chand Yadav on Saturday said that Prime Minister Narendra modi has failed to fulfill the promises, he made with the people.
Addressing media persons at JKPCC headquarters on the sidelines of a function organized in connection with Yuwa Kranti Yatra, he said that Narender Modi has done a big mischief in the Rafale deal.
In connivance with Anil Ambani, Modiji has misled people, he said, adding that most of the centrally sponsored schemes have seen misdoings.
He said Modi’s promise of providing jobs to youth in the country has proved to be a mere rhetoric.
“The youth of the country are asking questions for when is Modi going to provide them jobs? The elections are coming nearer, he has limited time. He has assured the country that he would be creating 2 crore jobs for the youth during his tenure,” Keshav said.
Raising concern over farmer suicides, he said that Modi government has been waiving off the loans of industrialists only.
‘The inflation is on rise. People have been suffering. The loans of farmers have not been waived off. They continue to suffer. The prices of petroleum products at the international level were decreased but here, the prices remained unchanged,” he said.
Among others, vice president, IYC Srinivas B Venkatesh and leaders of youth congress were also present.