New Delhi, July 13 (IANS) Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh said Saturday directions have been issued to government agencies to prepare for the launch of the central government's food security scheme.
"The process for formulating an action plan to implement the National Food Security Ordinance (of 2013) has been issued," Singh said at a meeting called by Congress president Sonia Gandhi with party chief ministers.
The state would ensure meeting nutritional standards fixed under the ordinance relating to cooked meals for children in 'anganwadi' centres and the mid-day meal scheme in government schools, he said.
The chief minister, however, said the state has already covered the entire population (68,64,602) under Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) by providing food grains and pulses at subsidised rates.
"The ordinance may exclude about 18.85 lakh people from TPDS and also reduce monthly allocation by 17,094 metric tonnes food grains to the state. But we will continue to provide food grains to all families irrespective of facts whether they are covered under the ambit of the ordinance or not."
The chief minister said Below Poverty Line (BPL) families in the state get 20 kg wheat and 15 kg rice per month irrespective of their family size. "The state will continue to provide this quota of ration to them," he added.
Officials said the state civil supplies corporation is providing three 'dals' (lentils), two edible oils and salt to over 11 lakh above poverty line ration card holders in the state at subsidised prices.
The central government last week notified the National Food Security Ordinance, which entitles 67 percent of the population to receive subsidised grains from the government every month.
The ordinance puts the responsibility of implementation and monitoring of the scheme under the TPDS on the states.