Meghalaya | No complaints received on distribution of "plastic rice": FCI official

He added that once the rice leaves the FCI gate, it then becomes the responsibility of the state government to use it for the purpose of various schemes.

The General Manager of Food Corporation of India (FCI) - North East Region, P.N. Singh, on Monday, said he has not received any complaints regarding the distribution of “plastic rice” in the state.

Speaking to reporters in Shillong, he said, “To date, I have not received any complaints about (the) plastic rice.”

“The FCI ensures good quality rice is being provided in Meghalaya. Then a representative of the state government and an official of the FCI check the quality before it is being lifted and combined samples are also taken,” Singh said. 

He added that once the rice leaves the FCI gate, it then becomes the responsibility of the state government to use it for the purpose of various schemes.

Asked whether he has ever encountered bad quality rice, Singh said it is negligible.

It may be mentioned that allegations of “plastic rice” had surfaced recently when the Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) claimed it was being sold at Stand Jeep, Iewduh one week ago. The KSU North Khasi Hills District Unit also made a similar allegation on July 2.

Allocation of rice under PMGKAY for three NE states

The FCI official also informed that the Centre has allocated additional foodgrains to three states of Northeast - Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram, under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana (PMGKAY) scheme. 

According to this scheme, 5 kg rice per person per month (free of cost) will be given to the beneficiaries. This was part of the Centre's support to the states, owing to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic 

For Meghalaya,  a total quantity of 53,637.9 MT rice has been allocated for five months, from July 2021 to November 2021 (10,727.5 MT per month).

For Mizoram, the rice allocation under the PMGKAY scheme per month is 3,341 MT and the total quantity for five months is 16,705 MT and, for Tripura is 12,414 MT per month and the total quantity of rice for Tripura for five months is at 62,070 MT.

Speaking about the beneficiaries of the PMGKAY scheme, Singh said that in Meghalaya, there are 21.45 lakh beneficiaries, 24.82 lakh in Tripura and 6.68 lakh in Mizoram.

Regarding the lifting of the rice stock, he said the Meghalaya government has, to date, lifted 1299 MT under PMGKAY, Mizoram and Tripura have lifted 143 MT and 897 MT, respectively. 

“This allocation is in addition to the National Food Security Act (NFSA),” Singh said.

As per details, it was found that the allocation of rice under NFSA for Mizoram is 5479.8 MT, 19430.7 MT for Tripura and 12862.6 MT for Meghalaya.

Singh said that the allocation of rice for all the three states is sufficiently available in the FCI go-down and there is no problem with the stock of rice. 

There are currently six go-downs in Meghalaya namely Shillong, Jowai, Nongstoin, Williamnagar, Khanapara and Tura.

Regarding the implementation of the "One nation One Ration Card", Singh sees no problem in implementing this scheme in the northeast. 

It may be mentioned that the Supreme Court of India has directed every State and Union Territory to implement ONORC by July 31.

(Edited by Ibankyntiew Mawrie)

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