21 States To Implement National Food Security Act

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Ahmedabad: The National Food Security Act (NFSA) will be implemented in 10 more states from April 1 this year, taking the total number of states implementing NFSA to 21, Union Minister of Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan said today.

“When I became minister, only 11 states had implemented the National Food Security Act and that too they had not implemented totally…today we are happy to say that the number of states has increased from 11 to 21, including Gujarat, which will implement it by April 1, 2016,” Paswan told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting organised here with Food Corporation of India (FCI) officials of Gujarat.

He said unlike earlier, the NFSA will be implemented by fulfilling conditions required in the Act such as digitisation, linkage of ration cards to Aadhar cards, computerisation of supply chain, end-to-end computerisation and installation of ‘point of sale’ devices across fair price shops, among others.

The minister lauded the efforts of Gujarat government in implementing the Act.

“A month ago we had received information that Gujarat will also implement the Act from April 1 as ration for the same has been allocated. In fact, Gujarat has done more than what is required in the Act in terms of computerisation of point of sale. Computer will say how many persons are there in a beneficiary’s family, how much grains are required to be allocated,” he said.

As many as 3,83,44,000 beneficiaries have been identified in Gujarat to whom a total 21 lakh tonne food grains will be distributed annually under the programme.

Paswan said Gujarat has prepared the allocation list before hand for a possible rise in the number of beneficiaries, as the current calculation of beneficiaries is based on the 2011 census.

Also, Gujarat has a storage capacity for 6.89 lakh food grains which will be sufficient to hold food for 3-4 months, he said.

He further said that out of 24,18,50,000 ration cards in the country, 99.9 per cent has been digitised, while 48 per cent have been linked to Aadhar cards, as required in the Act.

All states going to implement the NFSA have made provisions for online allocation of food grains, he said.

“Point of sale devices have been set up in 1 lakh out of 5,29,496 fair price shops across the country, and in 3 lakh it will be set up by 2017. We will cover all the shops by 2019,” he said.