IMPHAL, Feb 15 - Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan who was on a 2-day maiden visit to the state after becoming a minister in BJP led government at centre, left Imphal after laying the foundation stone for construction of food depot of Food Corporation of India(FCI)on Sunday.
Speaking to the media on the first day of his visit, Paswan said that the National Food Security Act (NFSA) which was implemented two years ago in the country will be implemented to North Eastern states by June/July this year.
Paswan made the announcement after attending a review meeting on the preparatory work for the implementation of NFSA in the states of Assam, Manipur, Tripura and Mizoram in Imphal.
He said that the computerisation of data has been completed 90 percent in Mizoram and Tripura while Manipur has done 77 percent and Assam 62 percent. Assam and Tripura informed that they will be ready to roll out the Act in June while Manipur informed they will implement by July.
Paswan also informed that the ongoing mega-block due to Lumding-Silchar railway line broad guage conversion through which the supply of the food grains for Manipur, Tripura, Mizoram and south Assam goes, will be made operational after March 31 next.
�Railways have a target to complete the broad guage conversion process by March 2015,� he said and directed the concerned officials that all efforts should be taken to ensure adequate supply of foodgrains in these NE states.
Earlier, Food Corporation of India (FCI) which transports about 85,000 MT of food grains per month for these NE states, had even plans to import required rice from Myanmar.The monthly requirement of these states is 82,744 MT for which storage capacity of 12,6443 MTs is available with FCI against which corporation is having stock of 1,19,000 MTs of foodgrains in various godowns in the region.
The state representatives also informed that there are sufficient stocks for targeted Public Distribution System (PDS) beneficiaries for about 70-90 days during the day�s review meeting with the minister.
Regarding the complaint of anomalies in the distribution of grains through the PDS, he said, �We�re aware of such grievances, but it depends on the state governments on how to improve the system.�
Interestingly Paswan also asked the Manipur Chief Minister O Ibobi and state Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution minister M Okendro, to implement NFSA by May 31 this year while attending the day�s foundation stone laying function for construction of food stirage depots at Bishnupur and Sawombung in Manipur, in Imphal.