Guwahati, Aug. 20: Co-operative societies in Assam today appealed to the state government for timely release of transportation costs in order to implement the food security scheme smoothly.
Co-operative societies said the Assam government’s delay in releasing transportation costs of items distributed under the public distribution system has been one of their major problems.
Officials of the societies said if they were asked to distribute more items under the food security scheme, without taking steps to reimburse the transportation costs immediately, they will be in immense trouble.
In a meeting organised at Srimanta Sankaradeva Kalakshetra here today, some co-operative societies told state co-operation minister Siddique Ahmed that some of them had not received transportation costs for more than a decade.
Talking to The Telegraph, Dayaram Kalita, the president of Khata Gaon Panchayat Bohumukhi Xomobay Xamiti in Nalbari district, said they had not received transportation costs from the government since 2007, taking the due amount to more than Rs 12 lakh.
At present, the society distributes 1,700 quintals of rice every month allotted under five different schemes.
“Till now we have not received any clear instructions from the government. I have heard that we have to sell rice at the purchase price, that is, Rs 3. However, we also need a minimum amount of profit to run the society,” Kalita added.
Umakanta Medhi, the president of Dakhin Chayani Gaon Panchayat Xomabay Xamiti, Palasbari, said they were informed about the availability of stocks at the last minute.
“If today I am asked to bring my whole stock from the godown within 24 hours, it creates a massive problem for me. We should be given at least a few days so that we can adjust the transportation costs,” said Medhi.
Kalita said they were still waiting for the quota of rice.“In our xamiti we receive rice against 4,200 cards while the actual number of cardholders is 4,500. We are managing rice for the extra 300 families from the quotas of other beneficiaries,” said Kalita.
He appealed to the government to take steps to prevent discrepancies.
Chief minister Tarun Gogoi today reassured that the food security scheme would be implemented in the state from November.