New Delhi: Jharkhand chief minister Raghubar Das today directed the state’s food and civil supplies department to work out a plan to shut all ration shops under the public distribution system (PDS) in phases and instead, transfer money directly to bank accounts of beneficiaries so that they can buy food grains as per their requirement from the market. Das’s decision came at a meeting to address public grievances.
Lalji Ram, a local inhabitant, had alleged black marketeering in West Singhbhum area of the state and had claimed that many people of Jhinkpani Tonta and Hatgamaharia had not got their ration for eight months.
According to a report in the Telegraph, the chief minister, while redressing public grievances at Mukhya Mantri Seedhi Baat, said, “Bandh karo sab ko (PDS shops). Jo bhi paisa hoga labhukon ko DBT (direct benefit transfer) se de diya jayega. (Close everything. Money to beneficiaries will be transferred to their accounts.”)
“They can then buy ration on their own from wherever they wish. Start this from urban areas and slowly expand it to rural regions,” the chief minister reportedly told food and civil supplies secretary Vinay Kumar Choubey.
“The exercise is unlikely to happen overnight, but modalities would be worked out”, a department official told the Telegraph.
Hearing another complaint lodged by Manohar Prasad of Simdega, who alleged that a government heart specialist, Roshan Khalko, had been absent from his post at a Kolebira health centre for the last two-and-a-half years, Das ordered Khalko’s immediate dismissal.
According to a report in the Daily Pioneer, Das also directed the health department to form a task force to identify such doctors by making surprise visits and catch the doctors who have been practicing privately during duty hours.
“Discharge him immediately and also form a task force to catch such doctors doing private practice during duty hours after identifying them,” the chief minister reportedly said.
Das also directed Khunti district collector, Manish Ranjan, to personally visit the house of beneficiary Bhagru Mahto, who had been running around the block office for the last three years, and ensure the old age pension was credited in his account, reported the Daily Pioneer.
The chief minister also appealed to everyone to move ahead as a team, making Jharkhand the number one state in the country and directed the police to ensure there is no untoward activity in the state during the festive season.