Majority yellow ration card holders yet to receive Onam kits due to supply shortage

Onam kit distribution. File photo: Manorama

Thiruvananthapuram: With Onam around the corner, the free provision kits that are supplied through ration shops to holders of yellow ration cards have been disbursed to only 10% of the section till now.

According to the data received till Saturday, free kits have been given to 62,147 of the total number of 5.87 lakh yellow ration card holders. Many people who reached ration shops had to return disappointed as the kits were not available.

Food and Civil Supplies Minister G R Anil said that the kits would be disbursed on Sunday and Monday in order to complete the process. The Food and Civil Supplies department said that the delay was caused by the fact that the Milma payasam mix and some of the curry powders of the Sabari brand were not received on time. Orders have been issued to buy the products from the open market and include them in the kit. But the concern is whether this could be completed in two days before Onam.

The ration shop dealers were requested to operate the outlets without taking the noon break for two days. They had responded positively to the appeal but also demanded that the kits be supplied as soon as possible.

The disbursal of kits to the inmates of welfare institutions has been completed to the extent of 50%. Similarly, 50 hamlets of the 136 Adivasi habitations have been provided with the kits. Minister Anil said that the rest of the distribution process would be completed on Sunday.

Bonus, festival allowance stuck halfway

The bonus, festival allowance, and advance payable to government employees and others for Onam have been hampered. The financial aid for other sections of the population has also remained affected since Thursday. Finance Minister K N Balagopal said that the problem was caused by a snag in the e-Kuber system that is used for carrying out transactions through the Reserve Bank of India and it would be rectified by Monday.

But indications are that the real cause was the non-renewal of the security license for online transactions by the state government. This license should be renewed before its validity expires. Information from portals that do not have the license will not be accepted by other websites. This is why the money sent from the Treasury has failed to reach the bank accounts of the beneficiaries.

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