State ministers meet to discuss PDS reforms

February 6th, 2012 - 4:44 pm ICT by IANS  

Pranab Mukherjee New Delhi, Feb 6 (IANS) Food and agriculture ministers from states will meet here this week to discuss reforms in the public distribution system (PDS).

Senior union cabinet ministers and government officials, including Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Minister K.V. Thomas will address the two-day event to be held Feb 8-9.

Besides PDS reforms, the ministers are also scheduled to discuss procurement of foodgrain and enhancement of storage capacity in view of the proposed National Food Security Act, an official statement said Monday.

“Issue of additional requirement of foodgrain production, procurement, required storage capacity and quality control will be discussed in detail with the respective stakeholders during the meeting,” according to a statement issued by the ministry of food and public distribution.

The government is working on improving procurement infrastructure and optimisation of storage and transportation cost and losses.

It is also considering committed transportation system for speedy movement of foodgrain to consuming states from procurement centres. A move to direct payments to farmers to encourage procurement is also being adopted.

“State governments will be requested to identify steps to further strengthen these efforts during the discussions,” the ministry said.

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