Two months after retiring from the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) from the post of secretary in the union government, 1977-batch Punjab-cadre officer Dilsher Singh Kalha is set to be appointed chairperson of the state food commission by the Punjab government, it is learnt.
Chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Monday cleared the file to appoint Kalha as the first chairperson of the state food commission, which is mandatory under the National Food Security Act-2013 for the purpose of monitoring and reviewing implementation of this Act, government sources said.
The objective of the Act is to provide food and nutritional security to people living below the poverty line by ensuring access to adequate quantity of quality food at affordable prices. Under this Act, every state government will have to constitute the food commission.
The state commission will have a chairperson; five other members; and a member secretary, who has to be an officer of the state government not below the rank of joint secretary.
The Punjab government is also in the process of finalising names of five members of this panel.
The chairperson and every other member will hold office till the age of 65 years or for a term not exceeding five years from the date of assuming office. They will be eligible for reappointment.
As per the Act, the state commission must have at least two women whether chairperson, member or member secretary besides one person each from the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
The Act says that the chairperson and other members will be appointed from among persons who are or have been member of the IAS or any other civil services of the union or state or holding a civil post under the union or state having knowledge and experience in matters relating to food security, policy-making and administration in the field of agriculture, civil supplies, nutrition, health or any allied field.
A person of eminence in public life with wide knowledge and experience in agriculture, law, human rights, social service, management, nutrition, health, food policy or public administration or who have a proven record of work relating to the improvement of food and nutrition rights of the poor can also make it to this commission.
The method of appointment and other terms and conditions subject to which the chairperson, other members and member secretary of the state commission may be appointed, and time, place and procedure of meetings of the state commission (including the quorum at such meetings) and its powers, shall be such as may be prescribed by the state government.
The state commission will undertake functions such as monitoring and evaluating the implementation of this Act; inquiring into violations of entitlements either suo motu or on receipt of complaint; give advice to the state government, its agencies and autonomous bodies on effective implementation of the Act.