The Centre has asked the States to expedite implementation of National Food Security Act. They have been urged to complete all the preparatory work by March next year so that the Act can be rolled out all over the country in April 2015.
Addressing the Conference of State Food Secretaries, Ram Vilas Paswan stated that the time limit of one year provided in the Act for identification of eligible households had to be extended twice as several States were unable to do so in the prescribed time limit. He asked the States, which have not yet implemented the Act, to complete identification of beneficiaries and other preparatory measures within the extended period and ensure implementation of the Act. He observed that after the Act having come into force, the arrangement of continuing allocation under existing TPDS can only be a temporary measure. The Act, which came into force on 5th July, 2013 has been implemented in 11 States and UTs.
Paswan stressed the need for identification of beneficiaries in a fair, transparent and participatory manner, delivery of foodgrains upto door-steps of fair price shops, end-to-end computerisation of TPDS and setting up of an effective grievance redressal mechanism for strengthening of TPDS and effective implementation of the Act.
On computerization of PDS, Paswan asked States and UTs to complete the digitization of beneficiaries and other data at the earliest. He said people-centric services such as online issuance, modification and deletion of ration cards, SMS alerts, toll-free helpline for providing PDS related information and online grievance registration and its tracking, should be put in place.