The Jammu and Kashmir government has distributed 14 lakh quintals of foodgrain to people of the state during the last three months of ongoing turmoil in the Kashmir Valley. State Minister for food and civil supplies Chowdhary Zulfkar Ali told this to Union Minister for food and public distribution Ram Vilas Paswan during their meeting here today. "The department has distributed 14 lakh quintals of foodgrain to the consumers of the state during the last three months of the ongoing turmoil in the Valley," Ali told Paswan. He said the officials of his department, despite facing various hardships due to the unrest in the Valley, worked day and night to provide foodgrain to the consumers. He projected the demand for procurement of maize from local farmers through food corporation of India (FCI) on market rates and disbursing it to consumers on payment of Re one per kg. Stating that a large number of farmers in the state are maize producers but a lack of proper market is discouraging them, Ali stressed the need for encouraging them by providing a platform for marketing their produce. In response to the demand, Paswan instructed officers of his department and FCI to coordinate with the J and K government to start procurement of maize. During the meeting, Ali also took up the issue of food godowns of state that are presently under FCI for many decades and sought rent of these godowns from the corporation. The Union Minister said they have already handed over Nagrota godown to the J and K government and are in process of handing over the remaining godowns at Lethpura and Gulab Bagh to the state soon. Paswan asked the state government to provide them alternative land for construction of FCI godowns so that they can expedite the process of vacating the state godowns. Taking up the matter of funding for e-PDS, Ali projected 90:10 ratio and said the Centre is already providing 90 per cent funding to northeastern states and should do the same for J and K. J and K has already projected this demand in National Consultation Meeting of Ministers twice, the minister said. The Union Minister assured proper action in this regard.
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