Suggest ways to improve PDS, Piyush Goyal asks beneficiaries

Bhanu P Lohumi

Tribune News Service

Shimla, September 25

Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Piyush Goyal today enquired about the role of middlemen in the distribution of free ration to poor people in the state. He virtually interacted with beneficiaries of the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana from Shimla and asked them to suggest ways to improve the public distribution system (PDS).

Goyal instantly established a rapport with the participating beneficiaries by referring to local crops and the natural beauty of Kangra and Chamba. He asked them about the cash crops being grown in Mandi and the present situation in Dodra Kwar, besides grievances regarding the supply of free and subsidised ration and the benefits of other welfare schemes.

CM: Rs 643 crore spent during pandemic

Foodgrain worth Rs643 crore has been distributed free of cost to the eligible families in the state under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana during the pandemic — Jai Ram Thakur, CM

"I have a deep connection with Himachal as my grandmother is from Sabathu in Solan district," said Goyal. He added that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had worked as the BJP state in-charge for Himachal, loves the people of the state and his concerns for them were visible during meetings. "Himachal Pradesh has made tremendous progress in all spheres of life during its 50 years of statehood. The state had not only done pioneering work in various sectors, but also shown a way to other states," he said.

Goyal said that the schemes launched by the Union Government since 2014 were aimed at the uplift, welfare and development of every section of society. Most of the beneficiaries of the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana expressed satisfaction over the supply of free ration though Nisha Thakur, a resident of Dodra Kwar in Shimla district, complained about disruptions in Internet services affecting the education of children during the pandemic.

She also requested the Union minister for the construction of a 12-km road on the Uttarakhand side as the area remains cut off from the rest of the state from November to April due to snowfall. CM Jai Ram Thakur said that he had recently visited the area and assured Nisha that the needful would be done.

Another beneficiary Saroj Kumari from Hamirpur told Goyal that the money they saved by way of free ration they get was utilised for the online studies of their children while Usha Devi from Chamba said that free ration helped the poor sustain their lives during the pandemic when there was no work.

Chudamani from Mandi said that Pradhan Mantri Gramin Sadak Yojana helped farmers in the transportation of their produce to mandis.

Courtesy: Tribune News Service

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