Piyush Goyal urges states to implement SMART-PDS system
New Delhi : Food and Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday said that SMART-PDS is a technological driven initiative and the need of hour, so all the states should make earnest efforts to implement SMART-PDS at the earliest.
He said this while addressing a conference of states’ food ministers. Goyal emphasised on a transparent and accountable system, aimed at reducing human intervention and promoting automation in the existing processes.
SMART-PDS is a system where smart ration cards are issued to beneficiaries of public distribution system, and ration is given through fair price shops on production of the smart ration card by any member of the beneficiary family.
The fingerprint template of the beneficiary is recorded in these smart ration cards, which records all transactions. Meanwhile, Goyal further said that transparency should be of utmost importance for free supply chain of foodgrains under public distribution system.
On the storage front, Goyal stated that Food Corporation of India (FCI) is upgrading its godowns into five-star rated ones and states should follow suit. On settlement of pending claims of states, the minister said that it was being done on priority basis and would be settled immediately.
During the conference, issues related to procurement of millets and its usage among beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) was also discussed.
States were urged to learn from the best practice of using millets in schemes like ICDS, mid-day meal and PDS in Karnataka which is helpful in adding nutrition and promoting healthy diet.
The expected procurement of coarse grains or millets is 7.50 LMT during the Kharif marketing season of 2022-23 (Kharif & Rabi) as against actual procurement of 6.30 LMT during Kharif marketing season of 2021-22.
Karnataka will procure 6 LMT millets (5 LMT Ragi and 1 LMT Jowar) in Kharif season of 2022-23.
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