Friday, February 11, 2011

India Gears Up To Implement The Right To Food Act

India begins ground work on the much debated Right to Food Act with the central government instructing the state governments to improve the Public Distribution System (PDS) before the enactment of the act. According to the Food Minister, there are several loopholes in the PDS and these have to be solved before enacting the proposed National Food Security Act. The state governments have been asked to address three particular issues: PDS reform specifically computerisation of ration shops, use of global positioning system in tracking movements of PDS vehicles, and replacing ration cards with smart cards; incraese storage units; and social accounting of foodgrains sold via PDS.

Already state governments are coming up with new ways to help implement this act. The government is also aiming to increase storage capacity by 17 million tons in the next 2-3 years. The Food Minister said that the National Advisory Council (NAC) is now working on the draft bill and his job is to make sure that the required infrastructure and foodgrains are ready for the successful implementation of the bill.

-Nisha Noor