The fourth National Consultation Meeting of Ministers of States & UTs, in-charge of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs is being held on 29th June 2018 in New Delhi. The meeting will be chaired by Shri Ram Vilas Paswan, Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, and Food & Public Distribution. Besides States, Union Ministries dealing with essential commodities viz., Agriculture, Chemicals & Fertilizers, Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Food Processing Industry, Health & Family Welfare, Petroleum & Natural Gas and Textiles will also be participating in the daylong event. The consultation will be on measures needed for further improving various facets of consumer protection and welfare including availability of essential food items at stable prices, Public Distribution System etc., and chart a future course of action.
High on the agenda of this meeting will be a discussion on measures required to maintain and manage prices of essential food items at reasonable level through appropriate policy intervention. Availability of robust and regular price information is pre-requisite for such policy decision and interventions. Therefore, improving the spread and coverage of price reporting centres, which report the prices of 22 essential food items daily, measures to strengthening these centres so as to improve the robustness of the data reported would be considered. In this context, Price Stabilisation Fund (PSF) as an instrument to tackle inflationary trends in important agri-horticultural commodities and the need for setting up of State Level PSF for addressing the state-specific concerns would also be discussed.
Issues like enforcement of the provisions of Essential Commodities Act and Prevention of Black Marketing and Maintenance of Supplies of Essential Commodities Act; modernization and reform of the Legal Metrology Departments in the States for effective implementation of Legal Metrology Act & Rules; redressal of the concerns raised by the 3 Member Committee of Supreme Court for facilitating the functioning of State Commissions and Consumer Fora; integration of National Building Code brought out by BIS in building by-laws of State/UTs and local-bodies would also come up for discussion.
National Food Security is now being implemented in all the States/UTs. For timely and satisfactory redressal of grievance of beneficiaries, functioning of grievance redressal and monitoring mechanism, as per provisions of the Act, will be reviewed in the meeting. Progress in the scheme of end-to-end computerisation of TPDS operations of State/UT level, including Aadhar seeding and installation of e-PoS devices at Fair Price Shops for authentication of beneficiaries and electronic capturing of transactions, will also be reviewed in the meeting, with a view to ensuring time bound completion of all the activities.
Status of implementation of the revamped scheme for SC/ST hostels and welfare institutions will also be discussed in the meeting, in order to understand the issues and challenges faced by States/UTs in its implementation, and the way forward, so that all the States/UTs avail benefit of the schemes targeted at the most vulnerable sections of society.>