Implementation of National Food Security Act has been extended by three months in order to give all the states enough time establish the necessary infrastructure, food minister Ram Vilas Paswan said today.
The Act, which aims to provide highly-subsidised food grains to 800 million poor people in addition to continuation of the support price for the farmers, is expected to cost over Rs120,000 crore annually for the government.
At present, only 5 states have implemented the Food Security Act and 6 states have implemented the Act partially, Paswan said, adding the food distribution system of India needs more refinement.
Meanwhile, finance minister Arun Jaitley will meet state food ministers on 4 July with the food subsidy bill shooting up to Rs1,06,000 crore and an additional subsidy of Rs25,000 crore expected for implementation of the Food Security Act.
Paswan said the government has taken a serious note of recent increase in market prices of some of the food articles. It would take stern action, jointly with state governments, to check all such unreasonable hike as there is enough stocks of foodgrains and other essential commodities in the country.
Paswan said the 4 July meeting will discuss action plan for early implementation the Nation Food Security Act, which provides for distribution of highly subsidised foodgrains to the poor.
He said effective implementation of the Act would protect the poor from the increase in market prices of food articles, especially wheat and rice.