The Centre has convened a meeting of state food ministers on May 21 to chalk out strategies to jointly tackle rising prices of pulses and other essential commodities.
The day-long meeting will be chaired by Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh and Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman besides senior officials of the central and state departments.
“High on the agenda of the meeting will be discussion on measures required to check unreasonable increase in prices of some food items, especially, pulses, edible oils and sugar,” an official statement said.
The meeting will discuss the action plan to contain prices, including strengthening the price monitoring mechanism, coordinated strategy to check hoarding and use of Price Stabilization Fund (PSF) to ensure easy availability of these commodities, it said.
Retail pulses prices are still ruling high at over Rs 190 per kg in most parts of the country due to fall in domestic output because of poor monsoon.
That apart, the Centre will also review the implementation of National Food Security Law, which has so been been rolled out in 33 states and union territories.
Ensuring online allocation to all fair price shops, coverage of more ration shops with bio-metric devices and strengthening redressal system will also be deliberated upon during the meeting.
Besides this, the meeting will also discuss about expediting “online procurement” which include registering farmers details like mobile numbers, account numbers for sending messages and making direct payment to farmers through system generated cheques.
Agriculture sector reforms for marketing farmers’ produce will also be one of the agenda items of the meeting, the statement added.