New Delhi, July 31: A National Consultation Meeting of Ministers of States and UTs in-charge of Food and Consumer Affairs was held on 7th July 2015 at Delhi wherein a six month Joint Action Plan (July-December 2015) for improving the availability and containing the prices of essential commodities was adopted for implementation.
Main points of the Joint Action Plan are as follows:
- Sustained action will be initiated against hoarding and black-marketing and States will undertake effective enforcement of the Essential Commodities Act and Prevention of Black Marketing Act.
- States will identify vulnerable areas where supply shortages occur and ensure that “stock out” situations do not occur especially of items of common consumption.
- States will mobilize existing storage capacity utilizing the Government/private/co-operative storage infrastructure to ensure that adequate decentralized stocks are maintained across different cities/rural areas of the State to ensure adequate supplies of these commodities. States will also mobilize Food & Civil Supplies Corporations, Co-operative Societies and Fair Price Shops for augmenting distribution avenues for essential food items.
- The existing Price Monitoring Cells in the States will be strengthened to monitor the prices of these specific commodities on the basis of wholesale prices at the mandis as well as the retail prices obtaining in various parts of the State. This should enable the States to make market interventions on a real time basis.
- Review of APMC Act with reference to onions, potatoes and tomatoes to remove inter-State barriers to internal trade will be taken up.
- The meeting recognized the importance of the effective implementation of National Food Security Act in all the States which is yet to be implemented by 24 States and these States were requested to ensure implementation of the Act at the earliest.
This information was given by the Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Ram Vilas Paswan in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today.