The National Food Security Act, which was announced to be rolled out from March this year in Assam, will be delayed and is now likely to be launched only after the Lok Sabha elections, the Assembly was told today.
Replying to a query during the Question Hour, Assam Food and Civil Supplies minister Nazrul Islam said, "It is unlikely that the Food Security Act will be launched from March, which the Chief Minister had earlier announced."
As soon as the Election Commission notifies the Lok Sabha election dates, model code of conduct will be enforced and no scheme can be rolled out, he said.
"Most likely, we will have to start the scheme after the elections," Islam said.
As per the plan, 2.25 crore of rural and 26.5 lakh of urban population in Assam will be benefited by the scheme.
"We are also setting up a Food and Civil Supplies Corporation for effective distribution of food items across the state," he said.
On allegations of black marketing of rice, Islam said he will look into the issue.
While presenting Assam's interim Budget for 2014-15, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said "I feel happy to say that an all time high production of 52.33 lakh MT rice along with an overall food grain production of 56 lakh MT has been achieved during 2012-13."
The state is witnessing a positive impact of double cropping, which was launched in FY'13, he said.
"Thrust will be given on increasing the production of rice, pulses, oilseed and food grains during 2014-15," Gogoi, who is also the state Finance Minister, said.