Ahmedabad: Union Minister of Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan today announced that the National Food Security Act (NFSA) will be implemented in 10 more states from April 1, 2016, which will increase the total number of states implementing the NFSA to 21.
"When I became minister, only 11 states had implemented the National Food Security Act and that too they had not implemented totally...Today we are happy to say that the number of states has increased from 11 to 21, including Gujarat, which will implement it by April 1, 2016," Paswan said in a meeting with Food Corporation of India (FCI) officials of Gujarat here.
Paswan further added that from now NFSA will be implemented only after meeting the requisite conditions like linking of Aadhar cards to ration cards, digitisation, ‘point of scale’ device installation across fair price shops and computerisation of supply chain.
"A month ago we had received information that Gujarat will also implement the Act from April 1 as ration for the same has been allocated. In fact, Gujarat has done more than what is required in the Act in terms of computerisation of point of sale. Computer will say how many persons are there in a beneficiary's family, how much grains are required to be allocated," he said, lauding the efforts of Gujarat.
As many as 3,83,44,000 beneficiaries have been identified in Gujarat to whom a total 21 lakh tonne food grains will be distributed annually under the programme.
Paswan said Gujarat has prepared the allocation list before hand for a possible rise in the number of beneficiaries, as the current calculation of beneficiaries is based on the 2011 census.
Also, Gujarat has a storage capacity for 6.89 lakh food grains which will be sufficient to hold food for 3-4 months, he said.
He further said that out of 24,18,50,000 ration cards in the country, 99.9 per cent has been digitised, while 48 per cent have been linked to Aadhar cards, as required in the Act.
All states going to implement the NFSA have made provisions for online allocation of food grains, he said.
"Point of sale devices have been set up in 1 lakh out of 5,29,496 fair price shops across the country, and in 3 lakh it will be set up by 2017. We will cover all the shops by 2019," he said.
(With PTI inputs)