Friday, January 22, 2016
The government has achieved significant mile stones in the reforms of PDS by making it more transparent and leak proof during last 19 months, said Ram Vilas Paswan, the minister of consumer affairs, food and public distribution. Paswan said that digitisation of ration cards is one of the important components for making PDS leak proof, 97 per cent cards across the country have been digitised, and soon 100 per cent will be digitised. All the 36 States/UTs have online system for redressal of PDS grievances now. Direct cash transfer of food subsidy to the beneficiaries started in Chandigarh and Puducherry in September this year, he said. The Minister said that based on the recommendations of High Level Committee on restructuring of FCI, procurement policy for paddy modified to ensure reach of MSP operations to more farmers. As a result huge paddy procurement has been made during Kharif season. The government also provided relief to the farmers during the year by relaxing procurement norms for their crops affected with the unprecedented rains and hailstorms. Paswan said that farmers’ interest and welfare is very high priority for the government, this is the reason it is making sustained efforts to facilitate payment of sugarcane arrears. Due to these efforts arrears came down from Rs. 21,000 cr as to 2,700 cr as on 12.1.2016 for the sugar season of 2014-15.