The Punjab Government today offered direct grain supply including wheat and rice according to the specifications of Kerala government, keeping Food Corporation of India out of loop.A delegation of Kerala Government led by its Food Minister Anoop Jacob had a detailed meeting with the delegation of Punjab Government led by Punjab Food Minister Adaish Pratap Singh Kairon to identify the areas where both states can work together and to work out a compatible solution to meet each other’s food requirements.Kairon gave a detailed presentation explaining the Asia’s big procurement operation conducted by the state that was contributing more than 210 lakh metric tonne food grain to the central kitty feeding a population of 35 crore and meeting 44 percent food requirement of the country. He also explained the online payment portal to provide payments directly in the accounts of farmers within 72 hours of procurement from the mandis and during current paddy procurement season over 1800 crore payments were made to the farmers through online portal ensuring total transparency in the system. He said the experiment of 40kg packs introduced by Punjab had been a great success and has been appreciated by Food Corporation of India.
Offering to provide direct grain supply to Kerala, Mr. Kairon said that Punjab can directly supply rice and wheat to the southernmost state of the country as per the specific requirements of Kerala keeping FCI out of loop. Mr. Anoop Jacob said that Kerala would like to seek grains from Punjab in 40kg packs. A delegation of Punjab Government would soon visit Kerala to work out modalities of the system. Appreciating the new PDS system introduced by Punjab in which 6 months or lump sum quota is provided directly to the beneficiaries keeping out the intermediately, he said that Kerala would like to replicate this model while implementing Food Security Act in the state. He also lauded Punjab to become a leading state in adopting Food Security Act.The Kerala minister also lauded Punjab for introducing novel Atta-Dal scheme that is providing subsidized food to more than 30 lakh families per month.
Briefing the delegation Principal Secretary Food and Supplies Mr. G. Vajralingam said that Punjab was the first state to have opted implementation of National Food Security Act in the country. He also said that Punjab had procured 115 to 125 lakh M tonne of Paddy during the recent Paddy procurement in all the 1800 different locations set up for this purpose. The entire system of purchase and procurement was computerized He also said that the state government had already got a fresh survey conducted in December 2013 by the deputy commissioners for the beneficiaries to be covered under NFSA.The other members of Kerala delegation included MLAs Ludy Luiz, R Selvaraj, V. M. Ummer Master and senior officers from state Mr. Surendran Nair, Mr. D. Krishnan Kutty, Mr. Nanda Kumer R, Ms. Sabi Kutty Skeria and Mr. Pradeep.