Ram Vilas Paswan, the Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution launched the 'Handbook for Implementation of Cash Transfer of Food Subsidy' in New Delhi today. The handbook has been jointly developed by Department of Food and Public Distribution (DoFPD) and World Food Programme (WFP).The handbook is a step by step guide for implementation of cash transfer of food subsidy scheme and is based on India's rules, regulations and experience in cash transfers of food subsidy, and WFP's global experience in cash based transfer. Shri C.R Chaudhary, the Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Secretary DoFPD, Shri Ravikant and Dr. Hameed Nuru, Country Director WFP, were also present during the launch.Shri Ram Vilas Paswan complemented the efforts of the DoFPD and WFP for preparation of the handbook. Shri Paswan hoped that it will serve as a guide to all states/union territories that are implementing or planning to implement cash transfers for food subsidy, as it details out the prerequisites, processes, and roles and responsibilities of all stakeholder involved in the cash transfer process. Union Minister said that the implementation of cash transfer of food subsidy scheme is one of the important initiatives of this government for ensuring targeted delivery of benefits.
He further added this handbook will help in easy understanding of the overall systems and the entire process flow, which would contribute greatly towards the easy adoption and success of cash transfers of food subsidy in India.Shri Paswan also highlighted the reform measures implemented by his government to check leakages and diversions of foodgrains in the "in-kind" distribution of food grains, through end-to-end computerisations of PDS operations. In this regards he especially highlighted installation of ePoS devices at fair price shops for biometric authentication of beneficiaries and electronic capturing of transactions.At the launch, Dr. Hameed Nuru, Country Director WFP said, "It is indeed in-line with the vision and aspirations of the nation, that WFP is supporting the Government of India. WFP has been working with the government at national and state level in the implementation of the NFSA, and is proud to be a partner of the government in its efforts towards food security and achieving of SDG 2 goals."Currently, Cash Transfer of Food Subsidy is being implemented in union territories of Chandigarh, Puducherry and urban areas of Dadra & Nagar Haveli while some more states have shown interest in implementation.