THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The enforcement of National Food Security Act (NFSA) in the state would be delayed by at least a month even though the State Government had declared October 2 as the D-day. With decisions yet to be finalised on a number of issues, Civil Supplies officials have moved the deadline to November 1.
Going by the changed schedule, the distribution of new ration cards is now expected to be completed only by May-end, 2015. The earlier plan was to complete the distribution by March 1.
“The National Food Security Act will be provisionally implemented on November 1. We plan to distribute the pre-populated data forms (for the new ration cards) by November the latest,” Civil Supplies Commissioner Shyam Jagannathan said.
According to Civil Supplies officials, the Cabinet is yet to clear certain issues regarding the AAY food grains and the age at which children are to be listed in ration cards which is causing the delay.
Under the National Food Security Act, the existing APL and BPL/AAY category ration cards would be replaced by ‘general’ and ‘priority’ sector cards respectively. For generating the ration cards, the Civil Supplies had earlier planned to distribute pre-populated data forms - which card holders have to fill and return- in September.
‘Priority’ households would consist of former BPL/AAY card holders and BPL families who were in the 2009 BPL list prepared by the State Government but who were not issued cards.
Of the total 3.33 crore population in Kerala, 1.54 crore would fall in the ‘priority’ sector and 1.79 crore in the ‘general’ sector.
‘Priority’ households would be entitled to rice at Rs 3 per kg and wheat at Rs 2 per kg.Food and Civil Supplies Minister Anoop Jacob had announced in August that the National Food Security Act would come into force in the state on October 2.
At the time, the plan was to publish the draft list of card holders in December this year and the final list by January 2015. Now the indications are that both activities would be delayed.