Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has directed officials to remove the name, ‘Mukhya mantri ghar ghar ration yojana’, from the government’s ambitious doorstep delivery of ration scheme which was to be launched from March 25. It has been stalled as the central government objected to the nomenclature of the scheme.
On March 19, S Jagganathan, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Food and Consumer Affairs, wrote to Padmini Singla, Secretary and Commissioner, Food and Civil Supplies Department, the Government of NCT, Delhi pointing out to the nomenclature of the scheme and denying permission to the AAP government to go ahead with the scheme as planned as the foodgrains are provided by the Central government for the distribution through fair price shops. The central government has made it clear that it would have no objection if the state government launches its own scheme separate from the TPDS under NFSA.
The reasons given by the central government, Kejriwal said, are that the nomenclature of the scheme cannot be ‘Mukhya mantri ghar ghar ration yojana’ as they perhaps have objection to the term ‘mukhya mantri ‘.
Stating that the doorstep delivery of ration scheme was not either to embellish their own name or to take credit as the letter mentions that people may feel this scheme is that of the state government, Delhi Chief Minister said: “I held a meeting with officers and instructed them to remove the name of the scheme, now this scheme will not have any name.”
Indicating that everything would be the same as before, the CM said that earlier the central government’s ration was being distributed through shops, now the same will be delivered at people’s houses.
The Chief Minister expressed hope that after this, whatever objections the central government had for the scheme would be removed and the central government will allow the Delhi government to go ahead with the doorstep delivery of ration.
The Chief Minister listed out the many problems with the current system of accessing the subsidised foodgrains through ration shops such as long queues, fair price shops having to remain open for the whole month, some ration shops open shutters only for a few days which meant that people went without their entitlement, there is corruption in the quality as well prices and many more.
Clearly indicating that this has been a long standing commitment of the government and has been in the works for years, Kejriwal said: “The Delhi government, after discussing with people had thrashed out a solution for this a few years ago that if the due entitlement of wheat and rice is packed and delivered to the beneficiary’s house, people do not have to stand in lines and all problems will be over.”
“It is a blow for us that the central government stalled the scheme just five days before it was scheduled for implementation,” said Kejriwal.