Highlights

  • Delhi CM has been advocating Delhi doorstep ration delivery system since 2015
  • Centre has turned down Delhi's request for approval thrice
  • Despite HC’s nod, Centre disapproved AAP’s demand

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What is Delhi govt’s doorstep ration delivery system? Why is Centre not approving it?

Kejriwal's ambitious scheme got a go-ahead from Delhi High Court. The HC ruled that the specified portions of the beneficiaries who want to avail the service of doorstep delivery should not be sent to the designated shops.

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal in his press conference questioned, If burgers, pizzas, smartphones, and clothes can be delivered at home then why can’t ration be delivered at their doorstep?

Yes, the whole idea of the Delhi Ration Doorstep Delivery scheme, which the AAP government is trying to implement in the national capital, is the same as, ordering pizzas, burgers, daily groceries, etc. However, this has a blend of weighty political drama to it!

The Delhi Ration doorstep delivery scheme which was to be launched in March this year is a nameless scheme over which the centre and Delhi government are disparaging each other. Earlier known as Mukhya Mantri Ghar Ghar Ration Yojana, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal was forced to drop the ‘Mukhya Mantri’ from the name after BJP-ruled Centre objected to it.

So what is the Delhi Ration Doorstep Delivery scheme:

The easiest way to describe the scheme is that the food that ration cardholders get from the government-designated vendors at subsidised prices would be directly delivered at home.

However, there are a lot of intricacies to this ...

Kejriwal’s scheme broadly has two parts: procuring and distributing…

So first up, from where will the CM procure the foodgrains?

The Delhi State Civil Supplies Corporation limited will select some millers who will pick foodgrains from 6 godowns of the Food Corporation of India that falls under the ambit of centre. After which, the foodgrains will be processed.

Without this scheme, ration holders directly collect their ‘unprocessed’ ration from the appointed fair price shops.

Distribution:

Delhi Consumer’s Co-operative Wholesale Store Limited that runs the fair price shops would bring in private agencies for direct delivery of processed foodgrains at the same subsidised prices. However, the ration cardholders will have to bear an ‘uncertain’ additional charge of the processing of the foodgrains.

Just like Groffers, Big Basket, this scheme too shall bring in the ease of deciding the quantity of ration. As per the scheme, the ration holder can either order their monthly ration in one go or in installments.

Each time, at the consumer’s doorstep, the ration cardholder will have to take a biometric verification before delivery.

So where is the issue?

The Centre has turned down Delhi’s request for approval of their flagship scheme for the third time now. Every time the centre has stated different issues with the implementation of the scheme.

Let’s look at the main issues that the BJP govt has pointed out:

1. Scheme not in accordance with the law

The ration card system falls under the National Food Security Act 2013, which ensures adequate quality and quantity of nutritional food to every Indian. Under this Act, Delhi has 17.78 lakh ration card holding families for which Delhi has over 2000 fair price shops for the distribution.

The act mandates the distribution of the ration through fair-price shops. AAP which claims to fight the ration mafia wants to completely do away with the fair price shop system.

2. Tweaking a national programme for political benefit

The Centre secures highly subsidised food grains for FCI from where the states lift their portion. The Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food, and Public Distribution has said that for the scheme they cannot use FCI procured food grains.

The AAP says Centre fears that the whole credit of food security policy will go to the Kejriwal government who hasn’t ideated it in the first place. Due to this, they also raised the issue of the name and asked the AAP govt to drop Mukhya Mantri which Delhi government accepted.

A pointless fight for credit!

As per the NFSA, the centre is in charge of the procurement, storage, transportation, and bulk allocation of the foodgrains to different states, and the States are required to identify the beneficiaries and look after the distribution of the ration.

Kejriwal's ambitious scheme which AAP has been talking about since 2015, got a go-ahead from Delhi High Court. The HC ruled that the specified portions of the beneficiaries who want to avail the service of doorstep delivery should not be sent to the designated shops.

But despite HC’s nod, Centre disapproved AAP’s demand.

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