IMPHAL, January 17: State governments have been urged to open more purchasing centers and assess all necessary infrastructure requirements for increased procurement of foodgrains for implementation of Food Security Act, said a PIB press release.
It should include storage space, credit and staff requirement. A meeting of Food Secretaries of various States has been convened in the second week of February by the Government of India to review the arrangements for procurement of wheat for coming marketing season and other infrastructure requirements, it continued.
Further according to the release, in order to implement the National Food Security Act, requirement of foodgrains is estimated to be 614.3 lakh tons against the average procurement of 514 Lakh tons in last five years.
Under the National Food Security Act, the Government of India will now provide assistance to States in meeting the expenditure incurred by them on transportation of foodgrains within the State, its handling and FPS dealers’ margin as per norms to be devised for this purpose, it said. In the meeting, estimated marketable surplus ratio of wheat for each State and estimated procurement of wheat for Rabi Marketing Season will also be discussed.
Under the Act, Grievance Redressal Mechanism at the District and State levels have to be set up and provisions have to be made for disclosure of records relating to PDS. The Act also provides for social audits and setting up of Vigilance Committees in order to ensure transparency and accountability. Provision for penalty on public servant or authority, to be imposed by the State Food Commission, in case of failure to comply with the relief recommended by the District Grievance Redressal Officer, has also been made in the Act, it said. One of the most significant features is the provision for Food Security Allowance to entitled beneficiary in case of non-supply of entitled foodgrains or meals. No doubt, the Act will provide food security to two-third population of the country and with its focus on nutritional support to children and pregnant women it will address the problem of malnutrition also effectively, further said the release.