GUWAHATI, March 25 - The State has enough food stuff in stock and in the open market to last for several months and the distribution chain is also being streamlined to ensure smooth delivery during the lockdown period. The deputy commissioners have also been asked to see if sale of vegetables and eggs could be arranged in the grocery shop campuses.
Stating this at a press conference today, State Food and Civil Supplies Minister Phanibhushan Choudhury said that only potato and onion supply which comes through trucks was facing hassles on the West Bengal border but the matter was being taken up with the West Bengal government and the Centre.
Giving a break-up of the food availability, Choudhury said that under the National Food Security Mission (NFSM), there was enough stock of food grains amounting to 3.20 lakh MT for 52 lakh beneficiary families in the State to last for two-and-a-half months.
In addition, there was two lakh quintals of food stuff in the open market, the break-up being � masur dal 63,056 quintals, mug dal 10,938 quintals, rahar dal 8,230 quintals, gram 7,570 quintals, sugar 75,552 quintals, mustard oil 56,317 litres, banaspati 36,300 tins, atta 12,879 quintals, salt 13,597 quintals, potato 20,410 quintals, and onion 14,380 quintals.
�Another 31 rakes are on their way to the State by train and we are going to procure 10,000 MT of masur dal from NAFED,� the minister said.
Asserting that the lockdown would not affect the common masses, Choudhury said the distribution chain from stocks to markets had been streamlined and there was no reason to panic.
�We have also asked the deputy commissioners to arrange for sale of locally produced vegetables and eggs through the grocery shops. But there will not be separate markets for vegetables and eggs,� he said, adding that social distancing in shops must be strictly maintained and the people should cooperate fully.
Stating that the government would come down hard on price rise as there was enough food for all, Choudhury hinted that the government was considering providing financial assistance to the needy. �The finance department has sought from us a list of beneficiaries under NFSM and PM�s Ujjwala Yojana along with their names and bank accounts,� he said.