Shillong: The Meghalaya government has sanctioned Rs 26.38 crore for procuring 1.17 lakh quintals of foodgrains to address shortage issues in the market during the ongoing lockdown, a state minister said.
Food and Civil Supplies minister James P K Sangma said that one of the biggest challenges was the disruption to the supply of essential food items under targeted public distribution system (TPDS) amid the lockdown imposed to contain the spread of coronavirus.
Some districts have been facing shortage of essential food items in the open market, causing hardship to the people, he said, adding that people resorted to panic buying during the crisis period.
Sangma said, deputy commissioners were given the freedom to issue authorisation letters and curfew passes to retail shop owners to stock their foodgrains and other items from Assam.
This will help addressing the shortage in the open market to a large extent, the minister said.
That is why the state government has accorded Rs 26.38 crore for a quantity of 1.17 lakh quintals for 2 months under the open market sales (domestic) scheme to be procured from the Food Corporation of India (FCI), he said.
Sangma said that procurement of rice from the FCI godowns would be undertaken by all deputy commissioners.
We are coordinating with the FCI with regards to the location from where the Meghalaya government can lift foodgrains, he added.
The minister also said that the state has also taken up with NAFED under the Union ministry of consumer affairs and public distribution, for the allocation of 5,553.64 quintals of pulses for distribution amongst TPDS beneficiaries.