Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal asks PM Modi to allow doorstep delivery of ration

Addressing a webcast, Kejriwal asked the PM why the Centre stalled the scheme "days before the Delhi government was going to launch it".

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal appealed to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to allow the state government to start the doorstep delivery of ration.

Addressing a webcast, Kejriwal asked the PM why the Centre stalled the scheme “days before the Delhi government was going to launch it”.

The Union Food and Public Distribution Ministry had said Saturday that the Delhi government was free to procure additional food grains for the proposed scheme under notified rates and launch it, instead of “disrupting” the public distribution system under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) under which highly subsidized food grains are allotted to the states.

Regarding approval, Kejriwal said that the Delhi government had written to the Centre not once but five times.
“Some officers have said that the ration is from the central government and cannot be used for a state scheme… Our aim is to work together and fight Covid, not fight each other,” he said.

The Centre had in March raised red flags over the name of the scheme and the proposal to use foodgrains allocated under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) in a local scheme. Later, the Kejriwal cabinet dropped the name “Mukhya Mantri Ghar Ghar Ration Yojna” and said it had addressed “all concerns” raised by the Centre – an assertion that the government reiterated on Saturday.

“The Government of India has not asked the Delhi Government to not distribute ration the way they want . They can do so under any other scheme. The Centre will provide additional ration for the same as per notified rates. Where is the issue? Why insist on disrupting an existing pan India Scheme which is under the NFSA? ” a Union Food and Public Distribution Ministry spokesperson had said on Saturday.

During the webcast, Kejriwal said that the scheme would prevent people from crowding outside ration shops. “There are people who are not going out to get ration because they are afraid of contracting Covid… the elderly cannot step out for ration,” he said.

The scheme was to be launched next week, according to Delhi government officials.

“If there can be pizza, burger delivery in this country, then why not ration for the underprivileged?” Kejriwal said.

There are around 72 lakh ration beneficiaries in the city.

Kejriwal also said the doorstep delivery was a way for the government to end the ration mafia in the city. He said that he had voiced his concerns against the ration mafia 17 years ago, and was attacked 7 times. “This is how strong the ration mafia is… This is the first time a government has tried to bring an end to it”, he said

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