Imphal: Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) has lambasted the Biren government over NFSA rice scam, water scarcity, unprecedented price hike of LPG cooking gas and other essential commodities.
Addressing reporters at Congress Bhawan here on Tuesday, AICC Member and Senior Spokesperson of MPCC N.Bupenda Meitei said that the country has seen an unprecedented price hike of essential commodities including LPG cooking gas as fallout of the Modi government’s policy of ‘crony capitalism’ and consequently people of the country are suffering due to the alleged unexposed Modi-Adani relationship which existed since 2014.
Maintaining that the State is reeling under the hardship of scarcity of water and NFSA rice coupled with price hike of essential commodities including LPG cooking gas, he said that the price of a refilled LPG cooking gas cylinder has inflated to Rs.1500 in the State while the price of rice has gone up to Rs. 35 per kg.
He said that the Congress government in Rajasthan is providing LPG gas to the people at Rs.500 per cylinder and the grand old party would have been able to provide LPG gas, rice and other essential commodities at cheaper prices, had the party ruled the State.
Alleging that the rice has failed to reach the targeted NFSA beneficiaries, he said that the price of one bag of rice has unprecedentedly shot up to Rs.1750 in the open market.
He questioned the availability of rice in the open market at inflated prices while the same is not available to the NFSA beneficiaries. He claimed that as per movement plan compliance data of the Food Corporation of India, 12,900 MT of rice for Manipur was transported by the Railways in
December 2022 and out of the total, 5734 MT of rice was transported to FCI godown by road transport, which is 34.5 percent.
Train brought in several rice bags but the rice went missing in the road movement. As per FCI Regional Office Manipur, the total storage capacity of the State is 63,162 MT. As per updated data of FCI, 45,884 MT of rice is in stock till February 2023 and the utilisation capacity of the State is 72 percent, he said.
In such a condition, how rice is not available to the NFSA beneficiaries and where the rice available in the open market come from, the Congress leader asked.
He also questioned the whereabouts of the PMGKY rice for December 2022, saying the CAF&PD Ministry on December 28, 2022 wrote a letter to the Principal Secretaries (CAF&PD) of the States, directing to provide NFSA rice to the people free of cost from January to December 2023.
Chief Minister N Biren had mentioned in the Assembly that distribution of NFSA rice will be done through biometric authentication. Biometric authentication will not be possible in the remote hill areas where there is no internet coverage. As such, the government needs to distribute rice to the people in such areas through special camps as prescribed by the Ministry, he said.
On scarcity of water in the State, Bupenda observed that the problem could have been resolved to some extent had the BJP government commissioned the Maphou Dam and Chingkhei Ching Water supply on time.
The PHED Minister recently informed the Assembly that the requirement of water per head in urban areas is 70 litre and 55 litre in rural areas; however, the JJM guideline prescribes only 55 litre per head. Such wrong policies of the government will only make the common people suffer, he added.