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Vivacity

For a safe future

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For a safe future

This government has been working  to ensure that India achieves full food security and is not affected by crises

The Union Ministry for Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution has met many milestones in the last four years to make foodgrain management more efficient and ensure food security in the country. Ram Vilas Paswan, Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution said that interests of farmers and consumers are high on the agenda of the government.

The ministry continues to takes initiatives towards ensuring a safer future for the coming generations.

National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA)

NFSA has been implemented in all states/UTs benefitting around 80.72 crore people. The government has decided to keep the Central Issue Price under NFSA Scheme unchanged at Rs  1/2/3 per kg of coarse grain/wheat/rice. As a result food subsidy is now Rs  1.43 lakh crore which is 26 per cent higher than Rs 1.13 lakh crore in 2014-15.

The Centre has been able to achieve rightful targeting of food subsidies of about Rs 17,000 Crore per annum by de-duplication.

Direct Benefit Transfer (Cash)

Food subsidy is now directly credited to the account of the beneficiaries. At present Chandigarh, Puducherry and Dadra and Nagar Haveli are implementing this scheme.

Major Reforms in Public Distribution System (PDS)

To weed out duplicate and bogus ration cards about 19.41 crore ration cards (May 29, 2018) have been Aadhaar seeded. To promote the use of cashless/digital payment mechanisms, the department has issued detailed guidelines for use of AePS, UPI, USSD, Debit/Rupay Cards and e-Wallets on December 7, 2016. Apart from the above, 100 per cent digitization of ration card data has been done.

Reforms in Procurement of Foodgrains

During Rabi Marketing Season (RMS) 2018-19, a quantity of 347 lakh MT of wheat was procured, which is highest in last five years. During Kharif Marketing Season (KMS) 2016-17, a record quantity of 381.06 lakh MT of paddy (in terms of rice) was procured.

Improving Storage of Foodgrains

A total storage capacity of 22.23 lakh MT has been added during last four years under the PEG Scheme through construction of godowns while a road map for creation of 100 lakh MT storage capacity in the form of steel silos by FCI and other agencies including state Governments on PPP mode for wheat and rice has been approved.

Warehouse Development & Regulatory Authority (WDRA)

To simplify the process of registration of warehouses and for their better and effective regulation, the WDRA have been notified. To provide safety and improve the fiduciary trust of banks in NWR system, WDRA has started online warehouse registration process and issuance of electronic NWRs through repositories.

Foodgrain allocation in SC/ST/OBC Hostels for nutrition

The Centre has revamped and notified a new scheme in September 2017, under which foodgrain at subsidized prices is being allocated for welfare and development of weaker sections of society to ensure adequate standards of nutrition in Welfare Institutions and SC/ST/OBC Hostels. As per the schematic guidelines, the hostels with at least 2/3rd of the resident students belonging to SC/ST/OBC community are eligible to get subsidized foodgrain for all the resident students, including those who belong to other categories. The Central Issue Price of foodgrain under the scheme is fixed at BPL rates.

Pension Scheme and Post Retirement Medical Scheme in Food Corporation of India (FCI)

There was a long pending demand from employees of FCI for introduction of Pension Scheme and Post Retirement Medical Scheme. Both the schemes were approved by

The Consumer Protection Bill, 2018 was introduced in Parliament on January 5 to modernize the 31 year old Consumer Protection Act, 1986. The Bill provides for setting up of an executive agency to be called Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA), which will look into unfair trade practices, misleading advertisements etc., provision for mediation as an alternate disputes resolution mechanism to facilitate quick disposal of consumer disputes, provision for product liability action arising out of injury to a consumer from a defective product and several provisions relating to simplification of the adjudication process in the consumer Commissions.

National Consumer Helpline (NCH)

For effective and quick redressal of consumer grievances, the National Consumer Helpline (NCH) has been improved. Earlier, there were 11,000 to 12,000 complaints per month but now the NCH handles nearly 40,000 consumer grievances per month. It has Toll Free No. 1800-11-4000. This convergence programme under the NCH has partnered with 430 corporates which ensures faster resolution of the complaints.

Better Quality Assurance

A new Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) Act, 2016 has been brought into force with effect from October 12, 2017. The new Act has provisions of bringing under compulsory certification regime any goods or article of any scheduled industry, process, system or service which it considers necessary in the public interest or for the protection of human, animal or plant health, safety of the environment, or prevention of unfair trade practices, or national security.

Quantity Assurance

To safeguard the interest of consumers and ease of doing business, the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules were amended w.e.f. January 1, 2018 to include rules like goods displayed by the seller on e-commerce platform shall contain declarations required under the rules, specific mention is made in the rules that no person shall declare different MRPs (dual MRP) on an identical pre-packaged commodity, size of letters and numerals for making declaration is increased, so that consumer can easily read the same, the net quantity checking is made more scientific.

Prices of essential Food Commodities

For the first time, a buffer stock of up to 20.5 lakh MT of pulses has been created through the Price Stabilization Fund (PSF) scheme of the Department of Consumer Affairs with the objective of managing price volatility of pulses for consumers. Meanwhile, prices of 22 essential commodities are being monitored on a daily basis from 102 centres across the country. Of these, since 2014, 45 new price reporting centres have been added across the country, including two in the North-Eastern Region.

Digital Initiatives

A new portal INGRAM under National Consumer Helpline was launched in September, 2016 for providing a common IT platform for various stakeholders involved in the Consumer Grievance Redressal Mechanism and for disseminating information to consumers.

A short code 14404 to access the National Consumer Helpline and a Mobile App for registering and tracking complaints was also added while a barcode reader app “Smart Consumer”.

Micro Site for educating consumers on Internet and Digital Safety

Online Consumer Mediation Centre (OCMC) is going to provide an innovative online mediation tool for e-commerce complaints. Online Consumer communities on the digital platform “Local Circles” was started for presenting views, grievances and suggestions enabling the department to know the pulse of the public that may help in policy intervention, if required.

 
 
 
 
 

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