Himachal takes e-steps to provide food subsidy items

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Shimla, Feb 25 (IANS) The Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Department in Himachal Pradesh has taken several e-initiatives to provide essential items at subsidized rates to over 70 lakh consumers, comprising those residing even in far-flung areas, an official said on Sunday.

The government has recently launched a smartphone app for ration card holders. The consumers can also give their feedback regarding functioning of fair price shop through the app, besides registering complaints.

Similarly, toll-free number 1967 has been launched for the consumers to lodge complaints regarding quality of commodities, a government spokesperson told IANS.

Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Director Madan Chauhan said the department has received 856 calls through the toll-free number. Officials concerned are informed regarding the complaint and asked them to submit the action taken report to the directorate.

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Another unique feature of this toll-free number is that the department can get feedback from the consumers regarding public distribution system, he said.

The new initiative has not only ensured easy availability of essential commodities to the consumers but also strict vigil on functioning of 150 LPG agencies and 374 petrol pumps across the state.

The state is providing ration at subsidised rates to all sections of society since 2007, under which every ration card holder is provided three pulses, two edible oils and iodised salt.

The state is bearing all financial expenses of subsidised food from its own resources.

Every financial year the state is making a budgetary provision of around Rs 175 crore for this scheme.

There are approximately 1.70 lakh ration card holders in the state.

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