Newmai News Network
Imphal | June 3
The All Manipur Tribal Union (AMTU) alleged today that there have been cases of “irregular rice transportation and siphoning off of the PDS for Below Poverty Line (BPL) to some traders.”
In this regard, the AMTU has submitted a memorandum to the Minister of Consumer Affairs and Pubic Distribution, Government of Manipur.
The AMTU said that it had submitted the memorandum to the Minister of Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution, Manipur “on behalf of the poor far flung tribal people of Manipur.”
The tribal body alleged that the monthly rice transportation to the hill districts of Manipur is always below quantity as some transporter/agents in collusion with some traders often siphon off for their business profit at the cost of the poor people.
According to the AMTU memorandum, rice being the staple food for the said people and due to diminishing of rice cultivation with increase of their population, it has become semi famine in the region. “As a matter of fact, the tribal people have been largely dependent on BPL rice and it was relief for them when Food Security Act immersed into being,” said the memorandum.
AMTU then said that the market price of such BPL rice has skyrocketed to Rs 1400 per 50 Kg bag and “it is impossible for such poverty stricken people who have no socio-economic resource to sustain and survive.”
According to the AMTU memorandum, Food Security Act is providing Below Poverty Line rice to the poor people with an aim to supply square meal to every citizen. However, it is not so in all the hill districts due to insincerity of transporters/agents.
“Therefore, for remedial measures to such irregularities and malpractices, let local tribal agency applicants be given priority as transportation agents of BPL rice who may prove efficient and sincere service to the poor needy tribal people failing which the tribal organization of the hill areas shall be compelled to resort to any kind of means to get the tribal quotas as entitled under Food Security Act,” the AMTU memorandum said.