Bangla to observe Khadya Sathi Dibas today

January 27 is celebrated as Khadya Sathi Dibas by the Bangla Government. On this day in 2016, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee launched the Khadya Sathi Scheme, hence the commemoration.

Khadya Sathi Scheme is a flagship scheme of the Bangla Government. Nearly 90 per cent of the State’s population, get foodgrains at Rs 2 per kg under this scheme. There are special packages for the Jangalmahal region, Cyclone Aila-affected families, farmers of Singur, workers and non-workers of closed tea gardens, Hill areas, and the Toto tribe (staying in Totopara).

The scheme is implemented through a strong network of public distribution and food storage system.


Through Khadya Sathi, State Govt is ensuring ‘Food For All’

The Bangla Government, under the leadership of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, has adopted the philosophy of ‘Food For All’, being implemented through the Khadya Sathi Scheme.

The Khadya Sathi Scheme envisages a system of systematic distribution of foodgrains across Bangla through the public distribution system (PDS), and for this, the government, through the Food & Supplies (F&S) Department, has brought about end-to end reforms in the management of the PDS.

The public distribution system consists of the public distribution outlets (PDO), commonly known as ration shops, which are basically fair-price shops (FPS).

Features of Khadya Sathi, being implemented through the public distribution system

To make the process of distribution of foodgrains hassle-free, the government has provided digital ration cards to 8.82 crore people.

Of these, 7.42 crore people are getting foodgrains at Rs 2 per kg while the rest 1.4 crore are getting foodgrains at half the market rate.

Of those getting foodgrains at the rate of Rs 2 per kg are

  • 3,12,718 people of the Cyclone Aila-affected blocks and 3,619 reluctant farming families of Singur, getting 16kg foodgrains per month
  • 8,75,703 beneficiaries of the Hills and 35,11,186 beneficiaries of Jangalmahal, getting 11kg foodgrains per month
  • All working and non-working families residing in the tea gardens (enrolled under Antodya Anna Yojana), getting 35kg foodgrains per month

The more needy beneficiaries are getting foodgrains completely free

  • 1,572 beneficiaries of 139 Toto families in Alipurduar district, getting 11kg foodgrains per month
  • Almost 6,000 malnourished children and their mothers getting 5kg rice, 1kg masoor dal, 2.5kg wheat or fortified whole wheat flour (i.e., fortified atta) and 1kg Bengal gram
  • With the aim of ensuring proper nutrition, government is providing whole wheat flour instead of wheat

Festive season bonanza

  • For the important festivals – Durgotsav, Kali Puja and Diwali, Eid, Ramzan, Chhat Puja – edible oil, Bengal gram, flour and sugar supplied at subsidised rates from ration shops

Fair price shops

Part of the food distribution scheme for the needy is the setting up of fair-price shops in 120 tea gardens. The construction of 46 more is in progress.

Both supply and demand crucial for the success of ‘Food For All’

To ensure the success of the concept of ‘Food For All’, supply or production as much as distribution is required.

On the supply side, the government has ensured and is continuously ensuring better food storage capabilities, better facilities and schemes for farmers, and better food testing facilities.

These are touched upon in brief below:

Food storage capacity: Over the last seven-and-a-half years of the Trinamool Congress Government, the food storage capacity has been gradually augmented, and a lot of work is constantly being carried on, in terms of building more and better warehouses

  • Food storage capacity increased by 15 times to 9.36 lakh metric tonnes (MT)
  • Work currently in progress for enhancing the capacity by another 5 lakh MT
  • 51 Khadya Bhawans built at the district and subdivisional levels
  • Work currently in progress for construction of 14 more Khadya Bhawans

Better facilities for farmers: As part of the mantra of ‘Food For All’, the State Government has also ensured that farmers get as much help as possible in producing that food, in the form of incentives. A few of the important developments in this aspect are:

  • No incidents of distress selling
  • In the 2017-18 kharif marketing season (KMS), 32.23 lakh MT paddy procured at minimum support price (MSP) from 4.67 lakh farmers
  • For the 2018-19 KMS, registration of farmers initiated from October 1, 2018 and paddy procurement begun from November 1, 2018
  • For selling to cooperative societies (samabay samitis) and at centralised procurement centres (CPC), farmers getting incentive of an MSP of Rs 1,750 per quintal
  • For selling at CPCs, farmers getting an incentive of Rs 20 per quintal over and above the MSP
  • Another incentive recently introduced is ‘Dhan Din, Cheque Nin’ (sell paddy, get cheque) wherein farmers get immediate payment for their paddy sold through cheques

Food testing system: State-of-the-art laboratories are being set up across Bangla for carrying out for carrying food quality tests.

  • There is a central laboratory in Kolkata.
  • 15 district laboratories are being set up in 15 districts
  • 6 regional laboratories are being built in Medinipur, Bardhaman, Krishnanagar, Malda, Siuri and Siliguri

Hence, as we see, Khadya Sathi has been a resounding success for Bangla. The scheme is the brainchild of Mamata Banerjee. As a result of it, people across the State, those who require, are getting foodgrains at subsidised rates.

Mamata Banerjee and her government’s commitment to ‘Food For All’ has resulted in an unwavering commitment towards farmers right from 2011. Among other things, their average annual income has increased by more than three times, from Rs 91,000 in financial year (FY) 2010-11 to Rs 2.91 lakh in 2017-18.


Reforms in PDS in Bangla in the last seven years

To ensure proper distribution and access of essential food, the State Government’s Food & Supplies (F&S) Department has brought about end-to end reforms in the management of the public distribution system (PDS).

The public distribution system consists of the public distribution outlets (PDO), which are basically fair-price shops (FPS) and are commonly known as ration shops.

TPDS through use of ICT

Essentially, PDS has been changed to TPDS, that is, targeted public distribution system. A major reform in this regard has been the use of information and communication technology (ICT) in the management of the TPDS.

This includes:

  • Creation of electronic databank of all the stakeholders of the PDS
  • Online allocation of foodgrains up to the FPS levels
  • Doorstep delivery by distributors to dealers
  • SMS-based information to the FPS-wise registered mobile users regarding allocation and availability of foodgrains


Other uses of ICT in the PDS

Other aspects of the use of ICT include:

  • Complete online supply chain management
  • Call centre-based public grievance redressal system including voice recording mechanism
  • Online renewal of license for more than 21,000 FPS dealers and distributors, 31,000 superior kerosene oil dealers and agents, and, 10,000 licensees of other petroleum products like LPG, lubricating oil, petrol pumps, etc.
  • Integrated online MIS generation from the level of sub-divisional controller of Food & Supplies (SCF&S) and upwards
  • Publication of new PDS control orders and modified control orders for the distribution of foodgrains in tea gardens through government outlets have been completed

Another major achievement has been the completion of digitisation of 8.59 crore ration card data as on January 31, 2015 and the completion of online supply chain management for the distribution of foodgrains.

Awareness generation regarding PDS

  • The Food & Supplies Department has also undertaken a massive drive for public awareness generation for people’s entitlement through TPDS
  • Regular publicity through audio spots on All India Radio, display of banners, publicity by miking and through skits by local artistes in gram panchayats and municipalities is creating improved awareness among the people
  • Advertisement through print as well as electronic media is being done at regular intervals
  • A monthly periodical named Sanbadnama is being published by the department.
  • Since 2016, January 27 is being observed as Khadya Sathi Dibas


Toll-free grievance redressal system

  • A 12×7 call centre (that is, 12 hours a day on all days of the week) equipped with call resource management and document management system has been set up
  • Anyone can get information or lodge complaints using the toll-free helpline numbers – 18003455505 and 1967
  • People can also track the status of grievance redressal online through the portal of the F&S Department
  • In all districts, an additional district magistrate has been designated as the district grievance redressal officer to address PDS-related complaints


Budgetary outlay apropos PDS increased

For achieving the above goals, the Trinamool Congress Government has increased the budgetary outlay manifold during its period in power.

Whereas in FY 2010-11, the total outlay for PDS was only Rs 2,199 crore, that in FY 2018-19 was Rs 8,037 crore, an increase by more than 3.6 times.

Hence, it can be said that Bangla’s public distribution system, the lifeline of the foodgrain supply scheme of the government, has improved hugely. Work is constantly going on to streamline the system of distribution as well as that of solving any issue that may arise.


7.5 Lakh metric tonne of paddy procured till Feb 24: Food Minister

The state government has procured 7.52 lakh metric tonne of paddy till February 24, Jyotipriyo Mallick, state Food and Supplies minister said in the Assembly on Monday.

The Minister said the government had procured 38.59 lakh metric tonne of paddy in Kharif marketing season (KMS) of 2015-16. Altogether, 328 centralised procurement centres have been set up in the state. He said the state government would meet the procurement target ahead of its schedule, adding that 18 lakh farming families were benefitted in the last KMS. In 2017 so far, he said 3.2 lakh farmer have sold paddy.

The Food and Supplies department, along with Health and Family Welfare department, jointly run a programme to combat malnutrition. 4,000 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition (SAM), identified by the Health department, are unit wise (mother and SAM child) being provided 5 kg rice, 2 kg wheat, 1 kg masur dal and 1kg Bengal gram per month free of cost for six months. Introduced in October 2014, the project has been very effective.

The State Government had budgeted Rs 5,020 crore to implement Khadya Sathi programme. January 27 was declared as Khadya Sathi Dibas by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. The department had set up model fair price shops (FPS), run by self help groups in six closed tea gardens in the first phase. In 2016-17, a project to construct 126 FPS in 86 tea gardens has been taken up to ensure availability of food grains to the beneficiaries.


২৪শে ফেব্রুয়ারী পর্যন্ত ৭.৫ লক্ষ মেট্রিক টন ধান সংগ্রহ করেছে সরকার: খাদ্যমন্ত্রী

“রাজ্যে কৃষকদের কাছ থেকে ধান কেনা নিয়ে রাজনীতি নয়, বরং সহযোগিতা করুন,” বিধানসভায় নিজের দপ্তরের বাজেট পেশ করতে গিয়ে আবেদন খাদ্যমন্ত্রী জ্যোতিপ্রিয় মল্লিকের।

তিনি বলেছেন, “যাঁরা ধান বিক্রি করেছেন তাঁদের নাম-ধাম তো বটেই, ফোন নম্বরও রয়েছে আমাদের কাছে। চাইলে মিলিয়ে দেখুন স্বচ্ছতার অভাব আছে কি না। সিপিএম কিন্তু এমন কোনও তথ্যভাণ্ডার করত না। করেনি। আমরা করেছি।”

তাঁর দাবি, রেশন কার্ডের হিসাবে জল মিশিয়ে গণবণ্টন ব্যাবস্থাকেই শেষ করে দেওয়া হচ্ছিল। একের পর এক দুর্নীতি হয়েছে। বাংলায় ১ কোটি ৩১ লাখ জাল কার্ড ধরা পড়েছে। নতুন সরকার তা ধরেছে। ব্যাবস্থা নিয়েছে।

খাদ্যমন্ত্রী বলেন, রাজ্যের মানুষ দু’টাকা কেজি চাল পান। কিন্তু বাইরে থেকে আর চাল কিনতে হয় না। রাজ্য স্বাবলম্বী। ফলে বাংলায় আর আমলাশোলের অনাহারের মৃত্যুর মতো ঘটনা ঘটবে না। ঘটতে দেওয়া হবে না। রাজ্যে কেরোসিনের বরাদ্দ কমিয়ে দেওয়া নিয়েও কেন্দ্রের বিরুদ্ধে সরব হন তিনি।

Isolate those who are trying to disturb the peace in Bengal: Mamata Banerjee

Those damaging public property will have to pay compensation from now, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced today.

She was speaking at the Khadya Sathi Dibas function at Red Road, Kolkata. She said a Bill regarding this will soon be placed in the State Assembly.

The CM said: “Some parties are trying to incite violence and riots. Bengal will not tolerate their motives”. She appealed to the people not to “pay heed to the misinformation and rumour-mongering of some political parties.”

She also asked people to “ignore and isolate the destructive elements who are trying to disturb the peace in the State”. She also appealed to the people not to take law into their own hands. “The government is with you,” the Chief Minister added.


উদ্ভ্রান্ত, উশৃঙ্খল লোকেদের প্ররোচনায় পা দেবেন নাঃ মমতা বন্দ্যোপাধ্যায় 

যারা সরকারি সম্পত্তি নষ্ট করবে তাদের ক্ষতিপূরণ দিতে হবে, আজ একথা ঘোষণা করেন মুখ্যমন্ত্রী মমতা বন্দ্যোপাধ্যায়।

খাদ্যসাথী দিবস উপলক্ষে রেড রোডে একটি অনুষ্ঠানে বক্তব্য রাখেন মুখ্যমন্ত্রী। সেখানেই তিনি জানান, খুব শীঘ্রই রাজ্য সরকার এই সংক্রান্ত বিল আনবে।

তিনি বলেন, “কিছু কিছু রাজনৈতিক দল মিথ্যা অপপ্রচার চালাচ্ছে, দাঙ্গা লাগানোর চেষ্টা করছে। বাংলা এসব বরদাস্ত করবে না”। কোনরকম প্ররোচনায় পা না দেওয়ারও আবেদন জানান মুখ্যমন্ত্রী।

তিনি আরও বলেন, “যারা বাংলার শান্তি নষ্ট করতে চাইছে তাদের ইগনোর করুন, আইসোলেট করুন। কোন রকম সমস্যায় পড়লে সরকার মানুষের পাশে আছে, কেউ নিজের হাতে আইন তুলে নেবেন  না”।



Bengal a model for the world in development: Mamata Banerjee

Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee initiated Khadya Sathi Dibas and Police Investiture Ceremony today at a function on Red Road.

In this colourful programme, beneficiaries from across state who have received helps from departments like Food & Supplies, Health & Family Welfare, Women & Child Development & Social Welfare, Backward Classes Welfare, Forest, Sports, I&CA’s Development schemes marched at the event.

Tableaux of departments including like Food & Supplies, Health & Family Welfare, Women & Child Development & Social Welfare, Backward Classes Welfare, Forest, Sports, I&CA were attractions of today’s event. The Bengal Chief Minister also decorated State Police officers for their courage and gallantry on the line of duty.

Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister said that the development in Bengal is a model for the whole world. She said: “Over 8 crore people are getting rice at Rs 2/kilo in Bengal. Over 90% people in the State have got some direct govt benefit. The infant mortality rate of Bengal has fallen from 32 to 26 out of 1000 while the national average increased from 33 to 37. We have set up 307 SNSUs, 60 SNCUs, 13 Mother and Child Hubs, many HDUs. Institutional delivery is a major socio-economic parameter. It has increased from 65% to 90% in 5 years.”

The CM added: “We want the young generation of Bengal to stand on their own feet. It is our responsibility to highlight the talent of the State. We have ensured employment for contractual workers, ICDS/Asha workers. We have started health insurance scheme ‘Swasthya Sathi’ for 3 crore people. Healthcare is free at govt hospitals. We have initiated a new scheme ‘Sabuj Shree’ under which saplings will be given to families of all newborns.”

Despite financial problems, we are working for the people and will continue to do so in the future, Mamata Banerjee added.



বাংলার উন্নয়নের কর্মসূচি বিশ্বের কাছে একটি মডেল: মমতা বন্দ্যোপাধ্যায়

আজ রেড রোডে খাদ্য সাথী দিবস ও পুলিশ অলঙ্করণ দিবসের শুভ সূচনা করলেন মুখ্যমন্ত্রী মমতা বন্দ্যোপাধ্যায়। সাহসিকতার জন্য এদিন পশ্চিমবঙ্গ পুলিশের অলংকরণও করেন তিনি।

এই অনুষ্ঠানে খাদ্য ও সরবরাহ, স্বাস্থ্য ও পরিবার কল্যাণ, পরিবহন, নারী ও শিশু উন্নয়ন এবং সমাজ কল্যাণ, অনগ্রসর শ্রেণি কল্যাণ, বন, ক্রীড়া, তথ্য ও সংস্কৃতি বিভাগের উন্নয়নমূলক প্রকল্পগুলির উপভোক্তাদের শোভাযাত্রা এবং সুকন্যা প্রকল্পের ছাত্রীদের আত্মরক্ষার কলা-কৌশল প্রদর্শিত হয়।

অনুষ্ঠানে বক্তব্য রাখতে গিয়ে মুখ্যমন্ত্রী বলেন, “রাজ্য সরকারের খাদ্য সাথী প্রকল্পের আওতায় বাংলার ৮ কোটি মানুষ ২ টাকা কেজি দরে চাল পাচ্ছেন।  এছাড়া ৯০% মানুষ আজ সরাসরি সরকারি পরিষেবা পাচ্ছেন। অস্থায়ী কর্মী, আই সি ডি এস/ আশার কর্মীদের চাকরি সুনিশ্চিত করেছে রাজ্য সরকার। স্বাস্ত্য সাথী প্রকল্পের আওতায় ৩ কোটি মানুষ সরকারি হাসপাতালে বিনামূল্যে চিকিৎসা পাচ্ছেন। ‘সবুজ শ্রী’ নতুন প্রকল্প চালু হয়েছে এর মাধ্যমে নবজাতকদের নামে একটি করে চারা গাছ দেওয়া হবে তাদের পরিবারের হাতে। ভবিষ্যৎ প্রজন্ম যাতে নিজের পায়ে দাঁড়াতে পারে সেজন্য রাজ্য সরকার সব রকম্ভাবে সচেষ্ট। রাজ্যের প্রতিভা তুলে ধরা আমাদের কর্তব্য”। 

মুখ্যমন্ত্রী জানান, “লোক প্রসার প্রকল্পের আওতায় ৮০ হাজার লোকশিল্পী আর্থিক সহায়তা পাচ্ছেন। আজ বাঙ্গুর সুপার স্পেশালিটি হাসপাতালের উদ্বোধন হল। অনেক মাদার ও চাইল্ড হাব তৈরি করা হচ্ছে। শিশু মৃত্যুর হার রাজ্যে হাজারে ৩২ থেকে কমে হয়েছে ২৬। ৩০৭ টি এস এন এস ইউ, ৬০টি এস এন সি ইউ, ১৩টি মাদার ও চাইল্ড হাব, অনেক এইচ ডি ইউ তৈরি হয়েছে। ইনস্টিটিউশনাল ডেলিভারি বিকাশের একটি মাপকাঠি। ৫ বছরে এর হার ৬৫% থেকে বৃদ্ধি পেয়ে ৯০% হয়েছে। সেফ ড্রাইভ সেভ লাইফ এর মাধ্যমে মানুষের মধ্যে সচেতনতা তৈরি করা হয়েছে। মেয়েদের আত্মরক্ষার প্রশিক্ষণ দেওয়া হচ্ছে সুকন্যা প্রকল্পের মাধ্যমে”।