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Nagaland rolls out food law; only TN, Kerala left

New Delhi: Nagaland has rolled out National Food Security Act from this month across all districts, taking the total number of implementing states and union territories to 34.
Only two states — Tamil Nadu and Kerala — are left where the food law is yet to be implemented. Under the law, passed by Parliament in September 2013 during the previous UPA regime, the government provides legal entitlement to 5 kg of subsidised foodgrains per person every month at Rs 1-3 per kg to two-third of India’s population.
“Nagaland government is implementing Food law in all districts from this month.
Only two states are left now. Kerala has committed to implement, but we have not yet got positive response from Tamil Nadu,” Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan told reporters.
The Supreme Court has given a direction that this law has to be implemented and no state is above the law, he added. Speaking about direct benefit transfer of food subsidy, Paswan said this is being implement fully on a pilot basis in Chandigarh, Puducherry as well as Dadar and Nagar Haveli.
“Though some states are keen to implement DBT, but we want to do it carefully. There are 3-4 problems that we are trying to sort out,” he said.
The minister said the beneficiaries might face problems in withdrawing money from banks for purchase of grains in the open market. Both the state and banks should take proactive measures to address these hurdles, he added.
On allocation of PDS foodgrains to states, Paswan said the Centre has decided to be flexible in allocating wheat or rice in a ratio that is required by those states which procure more than their PDS requirement.
For instance, the Centre had recently allocated 85 per cent of rice and 15 per cent of wheat for PDS distribution to the Odisha. Earlier, the state was getting rice and wheat in 60:40 ratio.
On cane arrears, Paswan said it has come down to Rs 3,838 crore so far in 2015-16 marketing year that will end in September. Out of which, Rs 1,963 crore pertains to Uttar Pradesh. (PTI)

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