Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday urged the Centre to allow the Aam Aadmi Party's doorstep ration delivery scheme in the national capital. Addressing the media here, Kejriwal said that the doorstep ration delivery scheme will not have any name and that the city government will not take any credit for it.
"Ready to accept all conditions of Centre but will not allow any obstructions," he said, adding that objective is to neutralise the mafia that operates in the city.
Earlier on Friday, five days before the launch of the doorstep ration delivery scheme by Kejriwal, the Centre asked the Delhi government not to implement it, saying it is "not permissible" to use subsidised foodgrain allotted under the national Food Security Act for the project. Kejriwal was scheduled to launch the scheme with doorstep delivery of ration to 100 households in northeast Delhi's Seemapuri on March 25.
In a letter written to the Delhi government on Friday, Joint Secretary in the Union Food Ministry S Jagannathan said the subsidised foodgrains being allocated by the central government for distribution under the NFSA "cannot be used for the operationalisation of any state specific/other scheme under different name/nomenclature other than NFSA as the same is not permissible under the Act".
However, the central government will have no objection if the Delhi government comes out with a separate scheme without mixing the elements of the NFSA, it said. Under the NFSA, passed by Parliament in 2013, the central government provides foodgrains to states for distribution to 81.35 crore people via the PDS at a highly subsidised rate of Rs 1-3 per kg. As per the ministry's data, about 41.33 lakh tonnes of foodgrains have been allocated under the NFSA to Delhi government till February of the 2020-21 fiscal for distribution via PDS. Out of which, offtake has been 40.97 lakh tonnes. In the national capital, there are around 72 lakh beneficiaries of the PDS.
Back in June 2018, Kejriwal along with his cabinet ministers had staged a sit-in at the LG office, demanding approval of doorstep delivery of ration in the city. In his Republic Day address this year, Kejriwal had termed the initiative as a revolutionary step in changing the city's public distribution system (PDS). The modalities of the scheme had also been notified by the Delhi government last month.