Food Ministers meet to Review PDS

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New Delhi, Oct 29: States Food Ministers will meet in New Delhi on Tuesday to review Public Distribution System (PDS) and to consider measures to further strengthen it. The meeting will discuss ways to improve off take of food grains by the states, increasing the viability of Fair Price Shops (FPSs), doorstep delivery of food grains at FPS, improving intermediate storage capacity and direct transfer of the food subsidy to the consumers.
The meeting will be chaired by the Minister for Food, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution System, Prof KV Thomas. Besides Food Ministers from the states, senior official from various central ministries-Agriculture, Food, Finance and Planning Commission will also attend the meeting.
The Centre has prepared end-to-end Computerization of PDS. The states have been asked to draw time bound plan for its implementation and outlay of Rs 84.07 crores has been kept for this purpose. Besides digitization of ration cards facility of SMS alert to beneficiaries are the highlights of the plan. Pilot projects have already been completed in some of the states. State wise review for further implementation will be taken up in the meeting.
Strengthening of agricultural marketing infrastructure to ensure smooth procurement of food grains from the farmers and timely payment to them will be push up during the meeting. States will also be asked to submit regular online update of sugar lifting position and rice milling capacity.


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