CAPT AMARINDER LED PUNJAB CABINET GIVES NOD TO TRANSPORTATION AND LABOUR & CARTAGE POLICIES FOR RABI 2018-19
APPROVES AMENDMENTS TO PUNJAB FOOD SECURITY RULES, 2016 TO SPECIFY PROVISIONS RELATED TO SOCIAL AUDIT
The Voice of Chandigarh News | Photos T S Bedi
To facilitate smooth and timely procurement of grains during the 2018-19 Rabi season, the Punjab cabinet has given its nod to ‘The Punjab Food Grains Transportation Policy, 2018-19’ and ‘The Punjab Labour & Cartage Policy, 2018-19’.
The approvals came at the Cabinet meeting chaired by Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh. The new policies will apply to the various procurement agencies of the State Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs department. These include Pungrain, Markfed, Punjab State Warehousing Corporation, Punsup, Punjab Agro Foodgrains Corporation and Food Corporation of India (FCI), which procure food grains from various designated centres/mandis.
To ensure full preparedness and hassle-free lifting during the Rabi 2018-19 procurement season, commencing from April 1, 2018, the cabinet has okayed the new policies for labour and cartage & transportation of Wheat from mandis to the storage points.
Under the policies, for smooth transportation and timely lifting of grains, various Labour & Cartage (L&C) Societies will be given priority to carry out the operations of labour and cartage at the basic rates. The remaining work of labour and cartage (up to 8 Kms) and transportation of Wheat, beyond 8 kms, will be allocated though a competitive and transparent online tender system.
In another significant decision, the Cabinet also approved the draft notification regarding amendments to the Punjab Food Security Rules, 2016, to specify the provisions related to social audit.
It may be noted that the Government of India has made the benefits available under the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) a legal right by implementing the National Food Security Act-2013 (NFSA). The Act was implemented in the Punjab in December 2013, under which the Punjab Government had notified Punjab Public Distribution System (Licensing and Control) Order, 2016 on April 22, 2016.
As per Section 40 (3) of National Food Security Act, 2013, the rules framed by the state government have to be placed before the Punjab Vidhan Sabha. But as per the orders of Supreme Court of India in Writ Petition (Civil) No.857 of 2015- Swaraj Abhiyan Vs. Union of India and others, the Government of India directed all the States to amend the rules framed by the states and made a provision related to the social audit. The Government of India also directed initiation of the process of social audit under NFSA during the Gram Samridhi and Swachhta Pakhwada organized by Ministry of Rural Development.