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SRINAGAR — Jammu and Kashmir’s Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Saturday announced 10 kg additional ration at subsidized rates for priority households of the UT under Prime Minister’s Food Supplementation Scheme for Priority households. He also said that there was no alternative to the smart meters as power debt bills for J&K mounted to Rs 31,000 crore in the past four years.

Addressing a press conference at Raj Bhawan here, the LG as per the news agency KNO said that priority households in J&K are already getting 5 kg ration free per member per family. “From now onwards, 10 kg additional ration will be provided to each family covered under priority households. In J&K, 14.32 lakh ration card holders and 57,24000 beneficiaries will be covered under Prime Minister’s FSS for priority households in the UT,” he said, adding that the welfare of the poor was the top priority of the J&K administration.

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He said the additional 10 kg ration will be provided at the rate of Rs 25 per kg. “This will cost Rs 1.80 Cr to the UT government annually,” the LG said, adding that against the Rs 34 per kg rate of rice, people coming under the PM’s FSS for priority households will have to pay only Rs 25 per kg. “There is a subsidy of Rs 9,” he said.

“People falling in the category of priority households were already getting a 4 kg ration per person free of cost. So if there are four family members, they will get 16 kg free ration plus 10 kg additional rice at the subsidized rates,” the LG said.

To a query about the delay in JKSSB recruitment, he said that in early exams, there were complaints of irregularities after which a CBI probe was initiated. “The matter is before the High Court and once the decision comes, exams will be held. For fresh posts, exam dates will be announced within 15 days,” the LG said.

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About steps taken by the administration in view of caving in of a road stretch at Panthal, the LG said that efforts are on to make alternate roads ready within three days to facilitate Amarnath pilgrims. “The permanent solution is once the tunnel is completed,” he said.

Asked whether the government would announce any sort of relaxation for the poor in power tariff, the LG said that people will have to pay power bills as per their usage. “In the past four years, power tariff bills mounted to Rs 31000 crore,” he said.

The LG said that due to the rains, Amarnath Yatra has been suspended and he was hopeful that the weather improves by tomorrow so that pilgrims proceed towards the cave shrine.

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