Doorstep ration delivery scheme will have no name: Kejriwal

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New Delhi, Mar 20 (PTI) Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday said the doorstep ration delivery scheme of his government will not have any name, a day after the Centre red-flagged 'Mukhya Mantri Ghar Ghar Ration Yojna' scheduled to start from March 25.

'We will accept all the conditions of the Centre but not allow any obstruction in implementation of the scheme,' Kejriwal asserted in a press conference.

The Centre on Friday asked the Delhi government not to implement the Mukhya Mantri Ghar Ghar Ration Yojna, saying it is 'not permissible' to use subsidised foodgrains allotted under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) for a state scheme.

The chief minister claimed a letter from the Centre on Friday noon informed that the doorstep delivery of ration scheme cannot be named as the Mukhya Mantri Ghar Ghar Ration Yojna.

'Perhaps they had objection over 'Mukhya Mantri' word. We are not doing this to take credit or promote our names. So now the scheme will have no name. There will be a cabinet meeting on Monday and its proposal will be sent to the Centre,' he said.

Earlier in the day, the chief minister held a meeting on the issue with minister and officers of the Food and Civil Supplies department.

'I told officials to do away with name of this scheme. It has no name now and it is no longer a scheme. I believe this decision removes whatever objection the Centre had and now they will allow us to implement it,' he said.

The ration that earlier was distributed through shops will now be delivered to the doorstep of beneficiaries, said the chief minister.

Kejriwal claimed it was very important for him to ensure ration delivery to the poor people by removing mafia from the public distribution system.

'We dreamt of this scheme for 20-22 years and I was personally preparing for it for last 2-3 years, so our hearts sank after receiving the Centre's objection but now we will not let any obstruction come in its way and accept all their conditions.' He said doorstep delivery of ration was a revolutionary scheme in view of the powerful mafia active in the field and hoped the scheme without any name will satisfy the Centre and it will have no objection now.

'My fight with the ration mafia began about 22 years ago. I used to work with the residents of slums in Nandnagari, Sundarnagari and Seemapuri, where I learnt how the people struggle to get ration.' The ration mafia is very powerful and have strong links and they never wanted this scheme to be implemented, he said.

The Delhi government came up with the idea of home delivery of ration to put a check on the ration mafia and remove problems faced by beneficiaries like waiting in queues, adulteration and shortchanging.

Kejriwal was scheduled to launch the scheme with doorstep delivery of ration to 100 households in northeast Delhi's Seemapuri on March 25.

'We did not bring doorstep delivery of ration to take any credit. I had said this even during the COVID-19 pandemic, all the credit should be with them and all the work and responsibilities should be with us. This is our principle,' he stated.

In a letter to the Delhi government on Friday, a Union Food Ministry officer said subsidised foodgrains allocated by the central government for distribution under the NFSA cannot be used for operationalisation of any state specific scheme under different name other than NFSA as the same is not permissible under the Act.

The central government, however, has said it will have no objection if the Delhi government comes out with a separate scheme without mixing the elements of the NFSA.

The modalities of Mukhya Mantri Ghar Ghar Ration Yojna were notified by Delhi government last month.

In the national capital, there are around 72 lakh beneficiaries of the PDS.

Under the scheme, each eligible beneficiary would have been delivered ration including properly packaged wheat flour and rice, after their biometric verification. PTI VIT/GJS SMN SMN