The Center has proposed a committee of State Food Secretaries under the chairmanship of Union Food Secretaries to short out issues of sharing expenditure towards intra-State transportation and handling of foodgrains, margins to fair price shop dealers and other implementation issues to ensure speedy implementation of National Food Security Act(NFSA).
Besides this another committee at the Ministerial level has been proposed to sort out issues of finance and other infrastructure to provide all required assistance on priority basis for the implementation of the Act. This was disclosed by Prof K.V.Thomas, Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution to the media persons here today while briefing about the deliberations of the State Food Ministers’.
Thomas said that most of the states informed today that they have already started preparations for launching the scheme under the Act and 50 percent States are expected to rollout the Act by this year end.
He said that in today’s meeting States have been again assured that their foodgrains allocation will be protected at the average of annual off take for the last three years and other concerned will be addressed as per the provisions of the Act.
The meeting was attended by 22 States Food Ministers out of 28 States. But senior officials from all States and Union Territories were present. The meeting resolved that time bound programme will be prepared for correct identification of beneficiaries, issuing of new ration cards, setting of grievance redressel authorities at the district and state levels will be taken up, existing distribution system should be strengthened. Door-step delivery of foodgrains will be taken up and computerization of TPDS will be completed in a time-bound manner. It was also decided that State Governments will ensure timely completion of the storage capacities sanctioned under Private Entrepreneurs Guarantee (PEG) scheme.
Since coverage under NFSA has been delinked from poverty estimates and therefore the hitherto followed system of APL and BPL beneficiaries would no more be relevant. Hence it was also decided that States/UTs should devise appropriate mechanism for distribution of subsidized sugar, within the quotas fixed for each State.