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Paswan to meet state food ministers on Sep 3


ANI General News
Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan will be chairing a meeting of state ministers of Food Civil Supplies and Consumer Protection on September 3.
In the meeting, there will be discussions on establishment of the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) and range of other issues including the new pilot scheme to promote nutrition security in the country.
"To enable coordinated action to discuss these issues, the Minister has called this meeting. The event will be a day-long affair with a contribution by Ministers and officials of agriculture, food and public distribution, consumer affairs, health and family welfare, industry and commerce as well as chemicals and fertilisers," an official statement said.
A number of issues related to food products including rising prices of pulses and onions are also expected to be on the agenda.
The event is significant in the context of the New Consumer Protection Act, 2019, which proposes CCPA to deal with unfair trade practices besides paving the way for digitalisation of consumer commissions, enabling e-filing of complaints, mediation, product liability law and much-simplified procedures.
"The conference will have discussions on a plethora of issues. Significant among them is the new pilot scheme to promote nutrition security in the country, on fortification of rice and its distribution through the public distribution system," the statement said.
The government said that as on July 11 the available stock of pulses in price stabilisation fund (PSF) buffer is around 14 LMT.
"States have been tasked to meet their requirement of pulses for various welfare schemes on mid-day meal, anganwadi, hospitals, hostels. A discussion will be held on the measures taken by states on the action points decided in the last meeting held in May 2018 to check unreasonable increase in prices of some food items, especially, pulses, edible oils and sugar and prevent hoarding and black-marketing," it added.
The meeting will also review action taken on the decisions of the last meeting of the state food ministers and prepare a fresh action plan.
The statement said that keeping the prices of all essential food items under control and fully digitising public distribution has been a priority of the government.
"With National Food Security already in place, the focus is now on reforms of the PDS sector and Aadhaar seeding of ration cards. In the last year government acting in coordination with states was able to keep prices of pulses and sugar under check," it said.
Government is keeping a close watch on trends of prices of essential food items as it affects all, especially the poor and vulnerable sections of the society.
The price monitoring cell (PMC) of the Consumer Affairs Department is monitoring the prices of selected food items as well as the structural and other constraints affecting their availability, and ensuring timely intervention for improving the market availability and thereby moderating prices.
The PMC is collecting wholesale and retail prices of 22 essential commodities on a daily basis from selected 100 centres across the country.
The prices compiled by PMC are used at the highest levels of decision making in government for regularly reviewing the overall situation including commodity-specific trends for taking appropriate decisions including market-intervention, if required.

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First Published: Aug 31 2019 | 7:28 PM IST

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