Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Friday asked all guardian ministers to ensure smooth distribution of food grains to the poor during the COVID-19 lockdown so that the government is not defamed unnecessarily.
According to an official statement issued on Friday, Pawar, who is also the state’s Finance Minister, wrote to the guardian ministers asking them to immediately address complaints raised by beneficiaries of the public distribution system (PDS).
In a letter to the ministers, Pawar informed that the PDS food stock had been increased from 3.87 lakh metric tonnes to 7.74 lakh metric tonnes.
As many as 1.52 lakh metric tonnes of grains were made available for the needy, he stated.
“There is a need to ensure that the poor get adequate food grains and they are distributed in a streamlined manner so that no one goes hungry (during the lockdown period),” Pawar said in the letter.
There should be no irregularity in the distribution of food grains and if there is any complaint, it has to be addressed immediately, Pawar directed.
“See that the government is not defamed unnecessarily. Guardian ministers should personally pay attention to this,” he added.
He praised the state administration for doing a “good job” at all levels during the health crisis.
The state’s food and civil supplies department was providing wheat and rice at Rs 2 and Rs 3 per kg respectively for three months to 7 crore people through fair price shops, he said.
The 5 kg free rice announced by the Centre for ration card holders is also being distributed, he said, adding that wheat and rice at Rs 8 and Rs 12 per kg respectively will be distributed to the poor, he added.