New Delhi: Shri Ram Vilas Paswan, Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution said that Centre is working on the Portability of PDS entitlements and this will be progressively extended. Shri Paswan stated this while addressing the first meeting of Food Commission Chairmen from States/UTs in New Delhi today. He said that once Portability of PDS implemented beneficiaries will be free to receive their entitlements from any fair price shops without being bound to a particular shop. This is already underway in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Haryana, Gujarat and Delhi.
Shri Paswan said that across the country 82 percent ration cards have been linked to Aadhar and 2.95 lakh PoS machines have been installed at ration shops to streamline the rationing process and stop pilferages. About 2.75 crore fake, duplicate and illegal ration cards have been deleted which has resulted in annualised better targeting of food subsidy amounting to Rs. 17,500 crores per year. The Union Minister said that these funds will be utilized for the benefit of providing subsidies to new people.
Shri Paswan said that he will write letters to the Chief Ministers of States / UTs where the State Food Commission has not been formed or partially formed. He informed that so far State Food Commission has been set up in 20 States / UTs. The Union Minister said that States should take responsibility to set up State Food Commission and give enough freedom for its functioning. The Union Minister assured that the Centre will extend necessary cooperation to States/UTs if needed. This was the first National level meeting between the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution and Chairmen of State/UTs Food Commission after its inception. Shri Paswan informed that the National/State level meeting of States/UTs Food Commission should be held every three months.