Govt tightens noose around FPS; sends memo to VPs to build storage facilities for grains
The government has issued a memorandum instructing village panchayat secretaries to construct food grain storage rooms under MNREGA for use as fair price shops. This comes as fair price shop owners protest against unpaid compensation, which amounts to around Rs 1 crore, and claim the government is deliberately harming and destroying their business
MARGAO: Even as issue pertaining to fair price shops remains unresolved, the government has issued a memorandum to all the village panchayat secretaries, to initiate the process to construct food grains storage rooms under MNREGA, which can be utilized as fair price shops to distribute food grains.
This is in view of the fair price shop owners refusing to lift the November quota of foodgrains, if they are not paid the compensation which now amounts to around Rs 1 crore.
The fair price shop owners have expressed shock and alleged that this has been done deliberately to tighten the noose around them.
Fair price shop owners have also stated that the above move will certainly destroy their business, and that the government failed to address the grievances of theirs.
Recently, All Goa Consumer Co-operative Society and fair price shop owners association had served a notice to the civil supplies department that they will not lift the food grains for the month of November, until the pending the commission amount of nearly Rs 1 crore to the fair price shop owners towards the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana is released.
This above memorandum has come at the time when the department of civil supplies has already started the process of issuing tender for supply of food grains to the door steps of the fair price shops.
The concerned department has also issued the order of allocation asking the fair price shop owners to lift the quota from the godown under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana.
As per the latest memorandum issued to village panchayats, it has been stated that attention of all village panchayat secretaries is hereby drawn to the instructions issued from Director of Panchayat, regarding construction of food grains storage structures under MNREGA which may be utilized as fair price shops to distribute food grains under NESA, 2013 on government land only which is self explanatory.
Gandhi Henriques, General Secretary, All Goa Consumer Co-operative Society and fair price shop owners association informed that they are surprised to know what he called the double game of the government.
“On one side, government is promising to help the fair price shop owners that have served for several decades and at the same time working to destroy us”, he alleged.
He further said that on one hand it’s showing it wants to introduce the NFSA 2013 after almost squeezing the fair price shops for the last 10 years.
“Time will tell as to how long one can fool some people some of the time, fool some people all the time, but one can’t fool all the people all the time”, said Henriques.
The Association has urged the Minister for Civil supplies to give up his portfolio if he cannot handle it.
“The minister has failed the 500 fair price shops and societies and five lakh beneficiaries of the State of Goa,” he alleged.
Henriques, said that it is most unfair, unjust and absolutely wrong is happening to FRP/STY’s that has served Goa for decades.