CNCCI Demands Open Tender Process For All PDS Schemes In Nagaland - Eastern Mirror
Thursday, April 18, 2024

CNCCI demands open tender process for all PDS schemes in Nagaland

By Purnungba Longkumer Updated: Mar 04, 2024 11:00 pm
Dr. Khekugha Murru, L Dorothy Chang, Akashe Zhimomi, and Zheito Murumi during the press conference on Monday.

DIMAPUR — The Confederation of Nagaland Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CNCCI) has demanded that the Food and Civil Supplies (FCS) department to cancel the tender for distribution of Priority Household (PHH) rice and initiate an open tender process for all Public Distribution System (PDS) schemes, including PHH, Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY), and the tide-over scheme (TPDS).

If the demand is not met, CNCCI will actively pursue the matter through various avenues, including writing to the ministry, engaging with investigating agencies at the state and central levels, said Dr. Khekugha Murru, chairman of CNCCI, during a press conference at Zone Niathu on Monday.

It also demanded clarification on why the PHH rice for the month of October 2022 has not been allocated.

Stating that the CNCCI is not against the state government or the department, Murru said that the aim is to collaboratively work towards streamlining the process, minimalising impact on the business community, and maximising the intended benefits for economically disadvantaged sections of society.

He also pointed out that agricultural production in Nagaland has not kept pace with the growing population, and as such, the import of rice should also increase. However, rather than increasing, rice imports have decreased, raising questions about the source of this staple commodity, he said.

Moreover, Murru said that, upon analysing the market dynamics, challenges confronting businesses engaged in rice importation have led to difficulties in sustaining their operations. This situation has almost created a monopoly system, leaving the entire rice business community at the mercy of a select few individuals, he claimed.

Substantiating the claim, president of the Dimapur Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI), Akashe Zhimomi, said that the businesses affiliated with the organisation previously imported rice via train, utilising approximately 40 to 60 wagons monthly. However, owing to the availability of PDS rice in the market, rice imports have been impacted, dwindling to a range of 10 to 15 wagons per month.

Zhimomi went on to state that the PDS rice which is meant for the poorest of the poor, is being sold in the market at wholesale and retail prices of INR 30 and INR 33 per kg, respectively and this situation is adversely impacting the business community. The government must take appropriate action on whoever is accountable for it, he asserted.

Citing reliable sources, president of the Peren District Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PDCCI), Haizing Mpom, claimed that Peren district is allocated approximately 200 metric tons of rice under the Tide Over scheme. However, we do not know where this rice goes, he said.

Joint secretary of PDCCI, Peusuibe Chuilo, pointed out that PHH cardholders in Peren district are currently receiving only 4 kg of rice, whereas they are entitled to receive 5 kg per head.

Further, president of Niuland Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI), Zheito Murumi, questioned the government’s decision to grant supplier and stockist opportunities to non-locals, despite the high number of unemployed Naga individuals.

Meanwhile, the vice president of Chümoukedima Chambers of Commerce and Trade Association (CCTA), V Bohoto Achumi, pointed out that the utilisation certificates for the Tide Over scheme is issued by the respective deputy commissioners and the distribution of rice is carried out accordingly.

Therefore, rather than channelling the rice through syndicates, he suggested the establishment of a ‘proper channel’ to make the rice available to the public at a price ranging from INR 9 to INR 10, as the same rice is currently being sold in the market at prices ranging from INR 30 to INR 40 per kg.

Also read: CNCCI calls for investigation into PDS schemes in Nagaland

By Purnungba Longkumer Updated: Mar 04, 2024 11:00:36 pm
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