The Food and Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Department organized two days programme on generating awareness of functionaries, PRI’s, Fair Price Shop owners and beneficiaries regarding entitlement and grievance redressal mechanism under ‘Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS), at the Janta Bhawan on July 7. The programme was sponsored by Ministry of Food and Public Distribution, Government of India. The Meeting was attended by Shri D.B.Thapa, Minister for Food and Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Department, who graced the occasion as the Chief Guest in the inaugural session, Secretary, Mrs. Nalini G. Pradhan, Addl. Secretary, Mr K.K.Kafley, other officials and DCSOs of all the districts and Food Godown Incharge.
The ‘Targeted Public Distribution System’ was introduced in the year 1997, to ensure availability of food grains to the poor at affordable prices. It is an attempt of the State Government to guarantee atleast a minimum quality of food grains at specially subsidized prices to the population living below poverty line. This scheme is being implemented by the Food and Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Department as the implementing agengy of the Targetted Public Distribution System.
In his speech, Shri. D.B. Thapa, mentioned that the Department has laid an effort to distribute essential commodities such as rice, wheat, sugar, edible oils, kerosene and othert commodities on time to the Ration Card holders through the Fair Price Shops and also stressed on the State Government initiatives on quality service. He also pointed out some complaints that were received during the recent Chief Minister’s visit regarding Public Distribution System and urged the participants to check and cross check the hindrances and weaknesses. The Minister added that small weaknesses need to be addressed to avoid major complaints in future and asked them to be more responsible and accountable. The two days seesion would generate awareness to the participant’s in Publis Distribution System and the outcome of this session would surely provide vigour amongst the officials and staffs to serve in the interest of the people, he added.
The Secretary in her welcome address mentioned that the main objective of holding the two days programme is to make aware and update on the Public Distribution System. Public Distribution System is very important scheme for the entire country and in Sikkim, the State Government has taken this system on priority. She also stressed on the need of sale of essential commodities as per the entitlement of ration card holders through the fair price shop only. Informing further more, she added for the first time the Departmnent has also received 200 metric tones of BPL wheat from Government of India which will be distributing to various fair price shop for the consumption of BPL at the rate of 6.80 rupees per kilogram. Besides, she stated that the computerization of Targetted Public Distribution System (TPDS) was also approved by NEC and is under IT Department and once it gets the clearance monitoring will also be done from the Head Office. The Department also reconstitutes the Monitoring Cell from time to time to be more effective and functioning, she added.
The two days session will also analyze on general concept of the public Distribution System (Control) order-2001, monitoring and its relevance to the TPDS, a brief overview on RTI Act- 2005 by Mr K.K. Kafley, highlighting the importance of Legal Metrology Act 2010, Schemes of TPDS and entitlements viz. responsibilities of PRI/FPS owner/ vigilance committees etc. followed by interactive session.