Center halts Delhi government’s rationing program again
The Center has once again denied the Delhi government permission to deliver rations to homes, claiming it does not meet the standards set by the National Food Safety Act (NFSA) under which food grains are provided to States by the Center for distribution.
The AAP on Saturday accused the BJP of using central government mechanisms to block its home ration delivery program, while the Union Food Ministry denied the charge, saying the Center only asked the Delhi government to follow “the provisions of the NFSA adopted by Parliament”. One of the main promises made to residents for many years now has been the promise to deliver the ration to the doorstep. However, the project encountered opposition from the Center from the start.
AAP spokesman Saurabh Bharadwaj said in a statement on Saturday: “The BJP has used the Center as its own mechanism and has blocked the door-to-door delivery of the Kejriwal government’s ration program. The BJP-run center did so despite the approval of the High Court…, where the court noted that there was no practical reason to block the program… The program will end the theft of rations and the arbitrary and stubborn attitude of the ration dealers who treat the poor as their cronies. “
Members of the Delhi Sarkari Ration Dealer Sangh had taken the matter to court saying the Delhi government’s decision to divert rations from Fair Priced Stores (FPS) to people’s homes was illegal. In September, the High Court ruled that FPS supplies could be diverted for door-to-door delivery. The government had told the court that people who opt for home delivery can opt out at any time if they wish. After the HC order, Kejriwal returned the home delivery package to LG for approval. The Center responded to the government on October 8.
Central Food Ministry officials, meanwhile, said their position had not changed. “This is just a reiteration of our previous position on the issue. The Center spoke only of the following provisions of the NFSA adopted by Parliament. All ration distribution activities in states must be carried out in accordance with established statutes, ”said an official.