Current Affairs

Goa Govt says ‘No Benefit’ to state from Food Security Bill

The Goa government has written to the Union ministry of Food and Civil supplies highlighting the fact that Goa will not be able to benefit from the food security scheme.

It claimed that few people will be covered once the scheme is implemented as against the present coverage of the whole population.

A senior government official said that under the scheme, the Union ministry has capped the number of beneficiaries at 5,32,000. If the 62,000 Antodaya card holders are kept separate, the actual beneficiaries will come down to 4,70,000.

Also, Goa’s annual average quota of 63,000 metric tons of grain will be reduced by 48 per cent. There are 3,92,000 ration card holders in the state.

He pointed out that all other states have got higher quota under the scheme.

Moreover, he said the Union ministry has erred in defining urban and rural population, as it relied upon the 2011 census instead of going by the definition given in the scheme.

The Food Security Bill, the officer said, defines rural area as ‘the area outside the jurisdiction of urban local bodies’. “The ministry has relied on 2011 census,” he said which is the main reason why Goa does not derive any benefit of the scheme.

Going by the census figures he said they have counted 62 per cent as urban population and 38 per cent rural population when in reality only 4.9 lakh is total population of the fourteen municipal areas of the state.

He further said the reduction of quota will lead to closure of many of the existing fair price shops which make minimal profits. There are about 500 fair price shops in the state.

“They hardly make profit of 10,000 a month but with the reduction of quota their functioning will be all the more difficult,” he added

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