The Statutory Rationing was reintroduced on 05.01.1965 in the Calcutta industrial and extended areas comprising Calcutta Corporation , Calcutta port, 29 Municipal towns around Calcutta , Cantonment area of Barrackpore, Dum Dum Airport , Shibpur and the Mauza of Indian Botanical garden.
Due to shortage of stocks in 1966 cordoning was necessary and the Statutory Rationing was extended w.e.f. 22.02.1966 to certain urbanized stretches contiguous to the then existing rationed areas like Haltu Union and North Dum Dum Municipality in the then district of 24 pgns. , Jagacha Union in the district of Howrah, the Siliguri township of the district of Darjeeling and the Industrial complex of Durgapur ,Raniganj,Asansol, Burnpur, Kulti,Barakar,Dissergarh and Chittaranjan in the district of Burdwan.In M.R. areas persons were classified into five categories(A,B,C,D&E) according to the size of holding of paddy lands.
A few other small pockets contiguous to the rationed area were also brought under the scheme from time to time. Siliguri was withdrawn from S.R. Areas from 01.01.1968.
Since then, the Statutory Rationing appears to be very effective as a price control mechanism throughout West Bengal. It also helped to control the rising prices in rural belt through inter district cordoning where people could buy the local produce at reasonable prices. The modified rationing system through central pool allotment in the district also helped to supplement the rice requirement of the district people. As a result Government could resist the entire export of the total local produce to Calcutta and other Industrial belts where the people have higher purchasing capacity otherwise there would have been serious price increase for the vulnerable rural section of people.
Since 1964 because of shortage of rice in West Bengal and because of non-availability of required quality of boiled rice from the central pool, the people of West Bengal started consuming wheat and wheat products. People were also encouraged by the state govt. to take wheat in lieu of rice because of low availability of rice and consequent bumper crop of wheat in Northern states of India due to technological improvement.
In order to make public distribution more significant, the Govt. of India promulgated Special Provisions, 1982 of E.C.Act, 1955 and cautioned blackmarketeers and dishonest traders. Special Provisions continued till 1997.
At the backdrop of globalization of trade and commerce, GATT agreement and new export – import policy, the GOI focussed its attention towards eradication of poverty. In 1986 introduction of Integrated Tribal Development Programme added a new dimension to Public Distribution System. Special PDS was introduced in those areas and in some hilly areas.
The State Govt. had started taking over the internal distribution of foodgrains from FCI since 1986. It ended after taking over such internal distribution in Calcutta –Howrah S.R. areas on 03.08.1992. Initial troubles had been overcome and the take-over processes have been established.
With an aim to eradication of poverty, the GOI adopted the strategy of Targeted Public Distribution System by supplying specially subsidized food grains for the people lying below the poverty- line. As per guideline issued by the GOI, the State Government launched the B.P.L. scheme in 15.02.1997. The Panchayat and Rural Development Deptt. in rural areas and Municipal Affairs Deptt. in urban areas were entrusted with the task of identification of beneficiaries.
The Ministry of Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution; Deptt. Of Food and Public Distribution, GOI has launched on 25.12.2000 a Central Scheme titled “Antyodaya Anna Yojana “ to ensure a hunger free India. Government authorities are supplying highly subsidised food grains for the poorest among the B.P.L. people. Under the National Common Minimum Programme the GOI. has now raised the coverage under AAY Scheme to nearly 38.34% (in the third expansion) of B.P.L. families w.e.f. 01.04.2005.
Guidelines for issuing new ration card for BPL (including AAY) Families in urban areas of this state, based on the latest household survey. Eligibility of receiving ration card for BPL including AAY categories will be based on the score based ranking of the family to be derived from the list of BPL families on the basis of urban household survey 2006. Such survey was conducted in Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) and other Urban Local Bodies (ULB) on the basis of different yard stick and parameter are given below :
Total Score allotted in the H.H. Survey
79 Or Less
80 to 86
110 Or Less
111 to 130
Guidelines for issuance of ration cards for BPL/AAY family (only in the Panchayat areas) based on the latest household survey has been issued vide Memo No.2841-FS/Food/5R-4/07 dt. 8th May 2007.
It has been decided that BPL and AAY ration cards shall be issued to the beneficiaries who have scored 33 or less and 27 or less respectively out of 60 in the latest household survey conducted by Panchayat & Rural Development Department.
In case of Tea garden areas, the cut off score is 37 instead of 33 for BPL category. AAY benefits already extended to the closed tea garden workers’ families will continue irrespective of the score given to their families.
On 01.04.2000 “Annapurna” Scheme was launched by Government of India to provide food security for the indigent Senior Citizen above 65 years who are otherwise eligible for National Old Age Pension Scheme but are not receiving the same. They are entitled to 10 Kg of food grains per head per month free of cost.
With a view to introducing uniform pattern of Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) throughout the country the GOI made the legislation named Public Distribution System (Maintenance and Control), Order 2001 which inter alia contained direction to all state governments to legislate State control order maintaining the spirit of the said order.
On the basis of the said Control order 2001 The Governor was of the opinion that it was necessary and expedient to do so for maintaining supplies and securing availability and distribution of essential commodities under The Public Distribution System and accordingly the following orders, namely:
The West Bengal Rationing Order, 1964 as amended and all the regulations made there under.
The West Bengal Rice and Paddy (Control) Order, 1997.
The West Bengal Pulses (Storage, Control & Dealers’ licensing) Order, 1999.
were repealed by the notification No. 5890 – F.S./FS/sectt./Food/4P-2/01 (Pt.) dated 22.12.2003 of Government of West Bengal; Department of Food and Supplies in exercise of the powers conferred by section 3 of The Essential Act, 1955 (10 of 1955) duly published in The Kolkata Gazzette Extraordinary on 31.12.2003 (But the Same remained in effect till 31.01.2004 Vide Notification no. 3220 - F.S./FS/sectt./Food/4P-2/01 dated 07.04.2005).
Simultaneously, 1) The West Bengal Public Distribution System (Maintenance and Control), Order 2003 Vide Notification No. 5880-FS dated 22.12.2003 and 2) The West Bengal Urban Public Distribution System (Maintenance and Control), Order 2003 Vide Notification No. 5881-FS dated 22.12.2003 were made effective from 01.02.2004Vide Notification No. 2545- FS dated 19.03.2004 duly published in The Kolkata Gazzette Extraordinary on 16.01.2006.
The Director of Rationing functions as the administrative head of the Urban Public Distribution System (UPDS) and is assisted by Administrative Officer (Head Quarters) and eight other Joint Director of Rationing.
This directorate is mainly responsible for availability and distribution of foodgrains (Central Pool/Procured) and other essential commodities under Public Distribution System at government approved price to the valid ration Card holders and permit holders under UPDS area.
This Directorate is also responsible for issuance of Ration Cards to the bonafide applicants in accordance with Government order. Ration Cards are distributed in four colours according to the category of beneficiaries i.e. APL (light violet), BPL (light gray), AAY (light orange) and Annapurna (yellow).
The total UPDS area is divided into six Sub- Controls each under a Joint Director of Rationing comprising Kolkata South, Kolkata North ,Howrah, Barrackpore,Hooghly, and Asansol. Each Sub control is Sub divided into sub areas ( each under a Rationing Officer), numbering 55 in total.
Organization Set Up
Organisational Structure of Sub - Area :Organizational Structure