The Centre has asked the states to tune up the public distribution system (PDS) and increase storage capacity as part of preparations for the upcoming National Food Security Act.
States are asked to address three core issues — PDS reforms, augmenting storage and accounting of subsidised foodgrain, food minister KV Thomas said after his meeting with food ministers from nine northern states.
"Loopholes in PDS need to be plugged," Thomas said. The Delhi government has been asked by Centre to come up with a model for farmers' market to ease rising prices of essential commodities, he added.
For improving movement of foodgrains from producing states to consuming states, Thomas said FCI''s zonal consultation committee would be further "strengthened".
Asked when the draft bill will be finalised, Thomas said, "The draft bill will be placed before a empowered group of ministers. " Detailing PDS reforms, Thomas said: "Computerisation of ration shops, use of global positioning system in tracking movement of vehicles transporting PDS items and replacing ration cards with smart cards are some of the reforms states should work on."