Kupwara, Nov 24: Secretary, Tourism and Culture, Sarmad Hafeez, who is also in charge Secretary for monitoring development work and other related matters of District Kupwara today visited here to review the developmental scenario of the district. He held separate meetings with DDC members, BDC Chairpersons and district officers.

Vice Chairman, District Development Council Kupwara, Haji Farooq Ahmad Mir and Deputy Commissioner Kupwara, Imam Din were present in the meetings.

Addressing the meetings, Sarmad Hafeez said that the objective of his visit to Kupwara district is to ascertain feedback from the PRIs regarding implementation of developmental schemes launched by the Government and to review the pace of their progress with the officers.

The Tourism Secretary said after the establishment of three tier Panchayati Raj System it is imperative for every officer to strengthen the Panchayat Raj Institutions and any kind of complaint or dereliction in this regard would be viewed seriously by the Government. He said once the system is regulated properly, the benefits would percolate down to the public smoothly.

Sarmad Hafeez stressed upon the officers to remain proactive in the public service delivery system, adding that Lieutenant Governor and Chief Secretary have issued clear cut directions for bringing efficiency and transparency in the system. “We are here for people and every officer and official is bound to serve the people to the best of his/her capabilities”, he said.

Responding to the issues raised by the PRIs regarding shortage of staff in various Government offices, the Secretary asked the Deputy Commissioner to issue roster for BDOs and other staff wherever necessary to ensure punctuality in offices and service to people. He also directed proper implementation of attendance in Government offices especially in border areas like Karnah, Keran and Machill so that the people do not face any inconvenience during the winter months.

Regarding the availability of Helicopter service during winter months in the district, the Tourism Secretary said that the Government has approved chopper service on subsidized rates for emergency services for various border routes which include Karnah, Keran and Machill also.

Sarmad Hafeez also got feedback regarding the winter dumping in the district and was informed by the PRI members that sufficient stock of ration and essential commodities is available in border areas.

Regarding enrolment under social welfare schemes, the Tourism Secretary stressed on holding of special camps in the district including Karnah subdivision so that deserving people could get benefitted at their doorsteps.

Later, the Tourism Secretary convened a separate meeting with District officers to review the progress of the District CAPEX budget, BADP and Aspirational District Programme.

Deputy Commissioner, Imam Din gave a detailed powerpoint presentation regarding the development profile of the district and informed that out of total current financial year’s approved outlay 75% funds stands released, out of which Rs.88.75 crore have been expended till ending October this year. This (expenditure) constitutes 52% expenditure against the budget availability under District CAPEX, he informed the meeting.

The meeting was informed that 2158 works have been approved under various schemes including Area Development Fund of DDCs, BDCs and PRIs. It was further informed that 1633 works are targeted to be completed during the current financial year.

Sarmad Hafeez reviewed the progress of every department working in the district including R&B, Jal Shakti (PHE and Irrigation), Health, Power, Rural Development, Social Welfare, Food Supply and Education. He directed Officers and field functionaries to have added dedication for speedy disposal of public issues.

He directed updating of Help Line Numbers in every department so that people can avail the facility as the system is functional in the Secretariat. He also reviewed the progress of  COVID-19 vaccination and was informed that 85 percent vaccination has been achieved.

He directed Executive Engineer PDD to follow the curtailment plan in letter and spirit and also keep people informed about the plan.

Reviewing the activities of Geology and Mining Department,  the Tourism Secretary directed the concerned officer for holding strict vigil on extra mining activities, which result in damage of public assets including abutment of bridges and water resources.

He directed Deputy Commissioner Kupwara to hold Intensive Capacity Building Programme  for Officers regarding awareness of Government schemes and campaigns including App Ki Zameen, App ki Nigraani; One Person, One Golden Card etc.

Sarmad Hafeez directed all officers to display permanent hoarding at Tehsil level on prominent places, providing complete detail of government schemes. He also reviewed winter preparedness and availability of food grains and other essential commodities.  He was informed that sufficient snow clearance machines are available in the district. He was also informed that sufficient food items and other essential commodities have been dumped in the border areas of the district including Karnah, Keran and Machill, which cater the requirements of the people up to June next year. He urged upon all officers and stakeholders to ensure that people do not suffer in the winter season.

Earlier, the Vice Chairman DDC and PRI members briefed the Secretary about various issues of their respective areas.

 

New Delhi: The Union Cabinet has approved the extension for  the  Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY-Phase V) for a  period of  another 4 months i.e. December 2021 till March 2022 @ 5 kg per person per month free of cost for all the beneficiaries covered under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) [Antodaya Anna Yojana & Priority Households] including those covered under Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT).

Phase-I and Phase-II of this scheme was operational from April to June, 2020 and July to November, 2020 respectively. Phase-III of the scheme was operational from May to June, 2021. Phase-IV of the scheme is currently operational for July-November, 2021 months.

The PMGKAY scheme for Phase V from December 2021 till March, 2022 would entail an estimated additional food subsidy of Rs. 53344.52 Crore

The total outgo in terms of food-grains for PMGKAY Phase V is likely to be about 163 LMT.

It may be recalled that in the wake of economic disruptions caused by the unprecedented outbreak of COVID-19 in the country last year, the Government in March 2020 had announced the distribution of additional free-of-cost foodgrains (Rice/Wheat) to about 80 Crore National Food Security Act (NFSA) beneficiaries at the scale of 5 Kg per person per month under the PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PM-GKAY), over and above the regular monthly NFSA foodgrains i.e., regular entitlements of their ration cards, so that the poor, needy and the vulnerable households/beneficiaries do not suffer on account of non-availability of adequate foodgrains during the times of economic crisis. So far, under the PM-GKAY(phase I to IV) the Department had allocated a total of almost 600 LMT foodgrains to the States/UTs equivalent to about Rs. 2.07 Lakh Crore in food subsidy.

The distribution under PMGKAY-IV is presently ongoing, and as per the reports available from States/UTs so far,  93.8% foodgrains have been lifted and nearly 37.32 LMT (93.9% of July’21), 37.20 LMT (93.6% of Aug’21), 36.87 LMT (92.8% of Sept’21), 35.4 LMT (89% of Oct’21) and 17.9 LMT ( 45% of Nov’21) foodgrains have been distributed to about 74.64 Crore, 74.4 Crore, 73.75 Crore, 70.8 Crore and 35.8 crore beneficiaries respectively.

Going by the experience of earlier phases, the performance of PMGKAY-V is also expected to be on the same high level as achieved before.

Overall, the government will be incurring an expenditure of nearly Rs.2.60 lakh Crore in PMGKAY Phase I- V.

 

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