The ruling NC-Congress government on Monday faced heat from two of its own MLAs and also Opposition parties over the issue of lack of availability of foodgrains for the people, with an NC leader saying he would agitate in the well of the House if urgent steps were not taken.
Initiating a debate in the state Assembly on the demands of grants of Consumer affairs and public distribution (CAPD) ministry, Mir Saifullah (NC) said there are widespread complaints that government-run ration depots are running dry.
The complaints are justified as I visited my constituency in Kupwara and found people running from pillar to post as CAPD department has utterly failed to provide food to the people, he alleged.
He said, though being a ruling party member he would not hesitate to agitate in the well of the House if urgent steps are not taken to provide foodgrains to people.
Mohammad Sharief Niaz (Congress) said he is being asked by people of his constituency to resign if he is unable to resolve the crisis.
He said the minister for CAPD alone cannot solve the problem and the Chief Minister should take up the matter with the Centre for immediate release of ration for the state.
State secretary of CPI (M) M Y Tarigami said a unanimous resolution should be adopted to press the Centre to provide grains to the state under universal system as was the practice in early 90s.
Mr. Tarigami urged the government to procure foodgrains from the open market for supply to consumers on subsidised rates to tide over foodgrains shortage in the state.
Opposition PDP members criticised the government for not implementing the cabinet decision granting 11 kgs of rice per head.
Replying to the debate on the issue, minister for CAPD Omar Ali Akhoon said he shared the concern of the MLAs on the issue and announced an increase of 15 kgs per ration card in view of holy month of Ramadan.
The government has decided that instead of giving 35 kgs ration per ration card, 50 kgs ration will be provided to the people per ration card during holy month, he said.
Akhoon said, additional quantity of 63,000 metric tonnes of foodgrains has been procured and the department has started lifting ration, which will be completed within 7 to 10 days.
The minister said during last three days, 35,193 quintals of additional quantity of ration has been rushed to different destinations of Jammu division and 57,000 quintals to Kashmir division.
Akhoon sought cooperation and support of the legislators saying it is vital to meet this unprecedented challenge.