Centre warns 25 States/UTs to implement food law

SansadTV Bureau

File Photo (PTI)

In a stern warning, the Centre has told 25 states like Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh that it will stop supply of subsidised foodgrains for APL families from April 5 if they do not implement food law.

The food law, passed by Parliament in September, 2013, has so far been rolled out only in 11 states and Union Territories. Remaining 25 states/UTs have not yet implemented the scheme.

“We have asked 25 states/UTs to expedite implementation of food law. We have given a stern warning that if they fail to meet April deadline, the Centre will stop supply of subsidised APL foodgrains to them,” Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan told.

Non-implementing states would have to buy PDS foodgrains for distribution to APL (Above Poverty Line) families at a minimum support price from the Centre, he said after a review meeting with state Food Secretaries of these 25 states/UTs.

The deadline for implementing the food law has been extended twice till April 4, next year.

The law aims to provide legal entitlement to 5 kg of subsidised foodgrains per person per month at Rs 1-3/kg to two-third of the country’s population.

Sources said that there is no provision for supply of subsidised foodgrains to APL families under the new law and, therefore, the government has issued such a warning.

At present, the Centre is allocating foodgrains to 11 states/UTs as per the new food law, while the rest 25 of them are getting foodgrains quota as per earlier PDS norms.

Despite extension of the deadline twice, Paswan said only 11 states/UTs — Punjab, Haryan, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Delhi and Chandigarh have so far implemented the Act, some of them fully and others partially.