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Would take up issue of getting depot holders insured, with Union govt: Ashu

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Chandigarh, May 11, 2020 (Yes Punjab News)

The Food and Civil Supplies Minister, Punjab, Mr. Bharat Bhushan Ashu here today at Anaj Bhawan, met the Presidents of various depot holder unions and took stock of the incidents which took place at Kapurthala and Village Ramdiwali Hinduan in Amritsar.

The minister in the beginning of the meeting, expressed deep sorrow at the incidents and expressed hope that such incidents would not take place again.

Mr. Ashu further said that the State Government led by the Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh stands fully committed to protecting the interests of the depot holders.

The minister also took stock of the ground situation with regard to the free distribution in a joint manner for the duration of 3 months, one kilo Dal and 5 Kilo wheat per member under the Prime Minister Garib Kalyan Yojna Scheme to the A.A.Y. and P. H. H.

He further said that the District Food and Civil Supplies Officers of the entire State have been instructed to take the assistance of the SSP of their respective districts in case any dispute arises regarding beneficiaries. The presence of the vigilance committee members must also be ensured during the distribution of the food. He also divulged that the department also is in the process of writing a letter to the SSPs and the Police Commissioners of the entire State aimed at ensuring the safety of the depot holders.

The District Administration of Kapurthala has also been instructed to ensure elaborate security arrangements during the distribution of food grains after the incident at Kapurthala.

He also made it clear that the cards of the consumers during the month of January and February, 2020 were rejected in accordance with the departmental standards during the course of a departmental probe. The depot holders had no absolutely no role in this. The process of the verification of the cards goes on continuously.

The minister also cleared that if any beneficiary feels that his card has been cancelled wrongfully then he can apply to the Food and Civil Supplies Officers and get his card made again. He also exhorted the depot holders to clean their hands at the regular intervals with water and soap as per the directions of the Health Department.

The depot holders led by the State President Surinder Singh Shinda, Ludhiana apprised Mr. Ashu regarding the problems being faced in the distribution of wheat and other foodgrains to the poor people during the present COVID-19 crisis and demanded their immediate redressal.

The minister gave a patient hearing to the demands of the depot holders.

He said that out of the demands raised by the depot holders, some have been met including free Sanitizer, mask and gloves but if any depot holders have not been given these items then this process must be speeded up.

He also added that the issue of getting the depot holders insured would be emphatically taken up with the Union Government and a proposal in this regard is being prepared.

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