New Delhi : The Secretary Department of Food and Public Distribution under Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Shri Sudhanshu Pandey held a meeting with the Chief Secretary, Government of Karnataka wherein the settlement of procurement incidental claims, preparations of the state for procurement operations, setting up of units for production of fortified rice kernels, distribution of fortified rice, encouraging production of millets, setting up of ethanol blending units etc. were discussed.
The Secretary informed the state that the procurement incidentals claims and distribution subsidy amounts to the extent of automated EPOS distribution quantities are already approved for payment to the state. He further informed that the state should have their procurement and distribution plans approved from the department well in advance and that the revised guidelines for procurement and distribution of course grains will be stretching to a period of 10 months.
Pandey further informed that 2023 being declared as International year of Millets and Karnataka being large producer of Ragi, the state should gear up with increased production of millets and tie up with the Indian Institute of Millets in Hyderabad for increased market penetration of millet products through start-ups. The Secretary Food further informed that the requirement of millets of other states can also be met by Karnataka with centre bearing all the handling and transportation costs.
He informed that the centre has already approved procurement of local verities of paddy in Udupi and Dakshin Kannada for self-consumption by the state. On the request of Chief Secretary for release of advance subsidy, it was informed that the state should send their provisional expenditure before commencement of procurement operations based on which advances can be released.
Drawing the attention of the state to the important project of the Centre which is distribution of Fortified Rice under ICDS and MDM schemes, he suggested that the state health department should be roped in for monitoring the health developments of such children. As the state has ambitious plans of increased paddy procurement he suggested that the fortified rice can be procured locally with FRK units being established on long term objective of 100% fortified rice for aspirational and heavy burdened districts. He suggested that the state should do the fortification of rice at milling stage itself.
With Karnataka being one of the largest producer of sugar, Secretary Food suggested that the ethanol production and blending has to be encouraged as Karnataka is one of the eight identified states planned for introduction of 100 ethanol bunks in metros.
The Chief Secretary has suggested to have one unified software for procurement operations to which the secretary had informed that the same is under consideration.
The secretary had informed that one nation one ration for migrant labours, coffee plantation workers and other settlement workers engaged in construction activities can be actively taken up by the state for real benefit of the poor.