NEW DELHI, June 26 (IANS): The state governments have been given three months to implement the Food Security Act that seeks to provide the right to highly subsidised foodgrain to nearly two-third of the population, Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan said Thursday.
�The government has decided to extend the deadline by three months,� Paswan told reporters here.
The deadline for implementing the National Food Security Act was on July 4.
The National Food Security Act, passed during the UPA government's tenure, seeks to provide highly subsidised foodgrain to the poor. It has been so far been implemented, partially or fully, only in 11 of the country's 29 states only.
�In a letter written to chief ministers of those states, where the National Food Security Act is yet to be implemented, the union food minister has requested action for its implementation in next three months,� a statement released by the food ministry said.
The National Food Security Act entitles every poor person to get at least 5 kg of foodgrain per month at highly subsidised prices.
Paswan said the effective implementation of the Act �would protect the poor from the increase in market prices of food articles, especially wheat and rice".
Paswan also said the federal government has decided to convened a conference of state food ministers July 4 in the national capital to discuss measures to check inflation.
�The government has taken a serious note of recent increase in market prices of some of the food articles,� Paswan said.
�It would take stern action, jointly with state governments, to check all such unreasonable hike as there is enough stocks of foodgrains and other essential commodities in the country,� he said.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will chair the conference.