THIRUVANANTHAPURAM : New ration cards under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) will be issued by May 1, 2015, Food and Civil Supplies Minister Anoop Jacob said on Thursday.
Inaugurating the World Food Day celebrations organised by the department, the Minister said that no existing cardholder would be dropped from the list when the NFSA was implemented in the state. (Although the government had set October 2 as the implementation date and later revised it to November 1, the deadline is likely to be extended again).
“The government will ensure that the present 100 per cent coverage under the Public Distribution System (PDS) will be extended under the NFSA also. We have asked the Centre to increase the state’s food grain quota to 16 lakh tonnes a year,” he said. Under NFSA, the APL and BPL cards will be replaced with general and priority sector cards respectively. According to the Minister, around 12 states have partially implemented the Act and arrangements are in progress for its implementation in Kerala.
Drawn-out legal tangles and unnecessary debates should be avoided regarding the NFSA requirement to issue cards in the name of the oldest woman in the family, Anoop Jacob said. “In an age when women’s rights are being championed, this provision shows our social responsibility,” he said.
The 2014 World Food Day is being observed on the theme ‘Family Farming,’ a topic which has great significance at a time when unhealthy lifestyles are leading to health problems in the people, he said.
“There is increased awareness now regarding safe food and a healthy diet. The idea of family farming should also be linked to consumer rights,” he said. Civil Supplies Commissioner Shyam Jagannathan urged the people to join hands for the effective implementation of NFSA. Mayor K Chandrika presided over the function. P C Vishnunath MLA, and Palayam ward councillor Palayam Rajan also spoke.