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Discussions on Food Security Bill with states scheduled for Sept 23-24
Tuesday, 10 September, 2013, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Our Bureau, New Delhi
The Centre will host a meeting of state food secretaries on September 23, 2013 and state food secretaries on September 24, 2013. Both the meetings, which will take place in New Delhi, will discuss the implementation of the Food Security Bill, as disclosed by food, civil supplies and consumer affairs minister G S Bali following a meeting with K V Thomas, minister of state (independent charge), ministry of consumer affairs, food and public distribution.

Bali – who hails from Himachal Pradesh – apprised Thomas that the northern state took all the preparatory steps to launch the National Food Security Act, including framing the guidelines for the selection of beneficiaries under the Act. He added that the Centre had agreed to provide ration to above-the-poverty-line (APL) families in Himachal Pradesh, who were left out of the purview of the Act.

He requested the consumer affairs, food and public distribution minister to provide liberal financial assistance to the state to develop its food grain storage facilities and computerise the public distribution system (PDS) to crack down on bogus ration cards and eliminate the pilferage of ration under the PDS. Citing the state's hospitality and modern infrastructure, he suggested that the next meeting of the state food ministers be held in its capital, Shimla, stating that it would boost tourism in the state.

Expressing his happiness about the working of the PDS in the northern state, Thomas assured it his full support and accepted Bali's invitation to visit Himachal Pradesh in the near future at the meeting, which was attended by Union food secretary Sudhir Kumar, principal secretary K Sanjaymurthy, food and civil supplies director Priyatu Mandal, and Amandeep Garg, managing director, State Civil Supplies Corporation.
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