IMPHAL, OCTOBER 3, 2017 (DIPR): Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Minister Shri Karam Shyam today said that the Government under the leadership of Chief Minister Shri N. Biren Singh is firm in its stand to work for the development of the State. Speaking to mediapersons at his official residence at Sanjenthong, Shri Karam Shyam said that constructive criticism on the policies and programmes undertaken by the government is always welcomed.
The Minister said that it is unfortunate that baseless allegations were levelled by a spokesperson of a political party stating that the Minister has swindled SK Oil quota allotted to the MLAs. The Minister said that the press meet conducted today is a clarification to the general public of Manipur and not to any particular individual or organisation. The false allegations have misled the general public about the clear intentions of the Government which is working for the welfare of the people of the State.
Stating that, SK Oil is one of the PDS items provided at subsidised rate to selected beneficiaries, the Minister said the State Government cannot allocate any of the PDS items except to the beneficiaries. He said that, the acknowledgment paper stating the salaries and allowances of MLAs including other facilities, which was shown by the spokesperson of a political party, has been misinterpreted as an Order passed by the State Assembly.
In the acknowledgment paper titled “Entitlement of a Member/Ex-Member under the provisions of the salaries & allowances of Members of the Legislative Assembly (Manipur) Act, 1972 (As Amended upto 20th Amendment Act, 2014), in the other facilities column it is stated that ‘SK Oil of 3000 litres per month was provided by the Government’. Clarifying that the acknowledgment paper is merely a statement and not an Order, he said quantity of SK Oil for the MLAs cannot be fixed as it depends on availability/stock.
He said the Central Government is responsible for procurement, storage, transportation and bulk allocation of all PDS items including SK Oil. The State Government is responsible for distributing the same to the consumers through the established network of Fair Price Shops (FPSs). State governments are also responsible for operational responsibilities including allocation and identification of beneficiaries, he added.
The present Government which took charge in March 2017 cleared the backlog (SK Oil for the MLAs) by the previous Government for 4 months (December 2016, January till March 2017). In June 2017, the backlogs were cleared by allotting 12 KL (Kilo Litre) of kerosene (3KL for each month). The Minister stated that the SK Oil is provided by the Government from the ‘Reserve Pool’ of the Directorate kept for emergency purpose and the availability of SK Oil depends on the allocation by the Centre to the State.
In previous press meet called by the Minister, he had stated that, SK Oil for the period of April-June 2016 was 5561.8 KL (3 KL allocated for MLAs), July-September 2016 was 5292 KL (2 KL for MLAs), April –June 2017 was 4476 KL (2.5 KL for MLAs) and July- September 2017 is 4476 KL (2.5 KL for MLAs).
He said that, despite the fluctuations in the quantity of SK Oil allocated for the State, the MLAs are getting increased quantity (2.5 KL) as compared to the allotments made by the previous Government. The Minister once again reiterated that allotment of SK Oil to the MLAs depends on the Centre’s allocation to the State. He also reiterated that no Bill was passed by the Manipur Legislative Assembly regarding allocation of SK Oil to MLAs.
Minister Karam Shyam also said that in the State, wheat is not distributed as PDS item. Regarding the scarcity of LPG cylinders in the State, the Minister said responsibilities have been fixed to solve the issue and urged the public to cooperate with the Government.