The Centre is working on Food Security Bill. It will go to the cabinet for approval very soon. In a meeting with the State Governments here today, preparedness for the enactment of the proposed Bill was discussed and States were asked to get ready in all respect to implement its provisions. The meeting was chaired by Prof. K.V. Thomas, Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution.
Food Ministers and Food Secretaries of Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh were present. The meeting was held against the backdrop of record production and procurement of foodgrains by both the State Governments and FCI. In the meeting, arrangements for procurement, storage and movement of foodgrains were reviewed.
The Minister emphasized on the need of increase in lifting of allotments under APL and BPL categories by States to free up storage space and help in movement of foodgrains to consumption States.
Out of 73 lakh MT of foodgrains storage capacity approved under the Private Entrepreneurs Guarantee Scheme (PEG), 63 lakh tonne worth of capacity has been sanctioned in these 8 states whose representatives were present today. All the States were requested to complete the work in a time bound manner and see to it that the proposed storage capacity is made available by next year.
The State Governments were also exhorted to take up storage construction for their own use by taking help of NABARD’s Scheme. The States were also requested to constantly monitor foodgrains stocks particulars kept in open/CAP.
Chairman UIDAI, Shri Nandan Nilakeni made a presentation on the proposed ‘PDS Network’ and requested States to adopt computerisation and integrate Aadhar infrastructure with PDS network for computerising PDS and Procurement operations.
Chairman, WDRA, Shri Dinesh Rai made a presentation about the newly introduced negotiate Warehousing receipt system
The states requested for early finalizing of their claims for Procurement (due from FCI). They also requested to sanction/approve additional storage capacities under PEG scheme.
State Governments also raised the issue of raising custom milling and transportation charges for Rice Milling. It was explained that Tarriff Commission is finalizing its Study by October/November to take care these issues.
Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Chattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh also requested for moving surplus foodgains to consuming States on priority to free up storage space and prepare for ensuing Paddy Procurement season.
Detailed discussions were also held on PDS reforms and computerization of PDS in States.