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Beneficiaries can get foodgrain quota from any ration shops: Paswan
 
New Delhi, Mar 7 (PTI) The Centre is working on the portability of foodgrains entitlement under PDS and the eligible beneficiaries can get their quota of grains from any ration shops, Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan today said.

Addressing the first meeting of food commission chairmen from states/UTs, the minister said the "...centre is working on the portability of PDS entitlements and this will be progressively extended".

He said once the portability of PDS (public distribution system) implemented, beneficiaries will be free to receive their entitlements from any ration shops without being bound to a particular shop.

This is already underway in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Haryana, Gujarat and Delhi, an official statement said.

Under the food security law, government is providing highly subsidised foodgrains to over 80 crore people. It supplies 5 kg of wheat and rice per person per month at Rs 2-3 per kg.

Paswan said that across the country 82 per cent ration cards have been linked to Aadhaar and 2.95 lakh PoS (point of sales) machines have been installed at ration shops to streamline the rationing process and stop pilferage.

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 crore per year.

The minister said these funds will be utilized for the benefit of providing subsidies to new people.

He said 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 such commission has been set up in 20 states/UTs.

Paswan said states should take responsibility to set up State Food Commission and give enough freedom for its functioning and assured the 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.

Paswan informed that the national/state level meeting of states/UTs Food Commission should be held every three months.


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