The National Food Security Scheme will be launched formally in the state on August 20. Nearly eight crore people will draw rations under the scheme from September 1.
With the implementation of the Food Security Ordinance, each member of a family holding the white ration card will be entitled to 5 kg of rice irrespective of the number of persons in the family. In effect, they will get an additional kilo per month. At present, the quota is 4 kg.
Chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, while holding a review meeting here on Thursday, responded positively to the proposal for increasing the commission of ration dealers in the state, a long-pending demand of PDS distributors. He directed the officials to work out procurement of additional quantity of rice required for distribution under the Food Security Scheme in coordination with the Food Corporation of India so that farmers will get remunerative price.
The state will have to purchase 94,000 tonnes to cover the 7.50 crore population in addition to the allotment of 3.06 lakh tonnes from the Centre. For the 50 lakh additional persons (for the 14 lakh new cards to be distributed during the next Rachabanda) open market purchases will be of the order of 25,000 tonnes per month additionally.
Thus, the total open market purchase will be 94,000 tonnes for the uncovered persons under the Food Security Ordinance and 25,000 tonnes for persons who will become eligible soon.
Officials said 4 lakh tonnes of rice has to be distributed per month against the present quantity of 3.25 lakh tonnes. Awareness campaign will be taken up to enlighten card-holders on the allotment of 5 kg of rice per person.
The chief minister will take up with the Centre the state’s action plan to implement NFSO from August and to allot entitled quantity of 3.06 lakh tonnes from August for implementing the ordinance.
The list of beneficiaries will be hosted on the website and, if required, the central government will be informed accordingly. Food Advisory Committees are already functioning at the state, district, divisional, mandal, corporation and fair price shop levels in rural and urban areas. The eldest woman in the family will be declared the head of the family in the ration card to meet the requirement under the National Food Security Ordinance and a state commission will be appointed keeping in view the guidelines.
PDS to Be Automated
The chief minister directed that the public distribution system be modernised and automated to ensure transparency with e-pass machines to be taken up on a pilot basis in six districts of East Godavari, Chittoor, Anantapur, Karimnagar, Rangareddy and Hyderabad.
This should be completed by December and the facility will be extended to the rest of the state.