Favour women SHGs in allocation of ration shops: Jharkhand CM

Ranchi, April 5 (IANS) Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das on Tuesday instructed the officials to favour Women’s self-help groups (SHGs) in allocation of ration shops in order to curb curruption.

“Majority of the complaints coming from Santhal Pargana are related with irregularities in PDS (public distribution system),” said Das at ‘Sidhi Baat’ — a telephonic interaction with the public that he holds regularly.

Santhal Pargana region comprises six districts of the state: Godda, Deoghar, Dumka, Jamtara, Sahibganj and Pakur.

PDS refers to state-run system of providing foodgrains and fuel at highly subsidised rates to the poorer citizens.

A caller to ‘Sidhi Baat’, one Babita Devi of Godda district, complained to the chief minister that the PDS shopkeeper in her area had not been distributing rations for the last three months.

Another caller Rajan Saahi from Dumka district also complained to Das that people in his area have been unable to obtain their rations and the PDS dealer had threatened him.

The chief minister took the complaints seriously and expressed his dissatisfaction with the PDS functioning in Santhal Pargana, officials said.

He instructed the officials to hand over maximum number of PDS shops to the women’s Self Help Groups (SHGs) to curb the “irregularities” in distribution of rations.

Das also instructed Vinay Choubey, the secretary of food and supply department, to visit Santhal Pargana and take action against the corrupt officials and PDS shop owners.

The chief minister said the public interaction programme has helped foster good governance over the last one year.

“There is scope for better coordination between state and district headquarters, so that the poor do not face negligence by the system,” added Das.

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