Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Monday announced that his government was ready to start distribution of rations on the doorstep, calling it an addition to the “for the people” initiative taken by his government.
In a video message, Mann said the rich could order things comfortably in their homes, while the poor had to wait in long lines to get their rations, often forced to give up their day jobs. Also, elderly women have to walk a few kilometers to get rations from the depot, he said.
The standard adds that often, the dry rations given to the poor (as part of a food for all project) are substandard and unsuitable for human consumption. “But poor people have no choice but to eat it. However, now the Aam Aadmi Party is ready to change that. Good quality rations will be packed in clean quality bags and delivered to the doorstep. Officers will call the beneficiaries, check their availability and then come and deliver the rations, ”he said, adding that the beneficiaries have optional delivery at the door or take their grain from the ration depot.
The Chief Minister has asked the people to report to the government if they get less grain or their quality is unsatisfactory. He added that although party convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had announced a similar plan for Delhi, it was “stopped by the forces that wanted people to stand in the snake line”.
There are 1.42 lakh beneficiaries in Punjab under the National Food Security Act. Wheat is supplied twice a year for six months at Rs 5 per kg per beneficiary per month.
Once the Punjab government implements the policy of delivering rations to the people, citizens of other states will also start “demanding” it, Kejriwal said on Monday. In a virtual briefing, he further alleged that the BJP-led central government had tried to “obstruct” the implementation of the policy in the national capital. “Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann has today made a great announcement that rations will be delivered to the doorsteps of the people and it will benefit the poor a lot,” he said.
“We are trying to implement it in Delhi too, but the BJP government at the Center is trying to block the implementation of this policy in Delhi,” he complained. Kejriwal emphasized that the idea was, in fact, “impossible”.
Earlier, after taking over as chief minister, Mann launched an anti-corruption helpline, announced jobs for 35,000 contract workers and recently slashed multiple pensions paid to Punjab legislators.
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