Center on Thursday constituted a ‘Group of Food Secretaries’ from states along with senior officers of the central government to deliberate on the framework of the ‘Community Kitchen Scheme’.
While announcing the constitution of the group, Union Minister of Consumer Affairs and Food & Public Distribution, Piyush Goyal affirmed that a ‘Community Kitchen Scheme,’ which is simple, transparent, and in the benefit of people, needs to be prepared. “We should have empathy towards the poor of the country and should ensure collective resolve to run successful and transparent food programs to ensure proper nutrition to children,a Goyal told a meeting of Food Ministers from across states and Union Territories.
The Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) is probably the world’s largest food program undertaken, in Covid time, he said, adding, “It should be our resolve that quality food grain should reach the beneficiaries in all parts of the country.”
He said it is the result of collective efforts that “no case of death due to starvation has been reported during the pandemic,” a release from the Ministry said.
The next meeting of officers would be held on November 29 to deliberate on the framework proposal wherein, the Minister said, the Model Community Kitchens Scheme, in the context of directions of the Supreme Court and ‘One Nation One Ration Card’ (ONORC) with regard to status of implementation across various states – enabled in 34 states/UTs -along with Aadhaar seeding of ration cards and biometrically authenticated FPS transactions would be discussed.
The Model Community Kitchen of the scheme will be of the community, run by the community & for the welfare of the community, he said and urged that it needs to be built on four pillars of quality, hygiene, reliability & spirit of service.
Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution and Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Ashwini Kumar Choubey; Secretary, Department of Food and Public Distribution, Sudhanshu Pandey along with Food Ministers and Food Secretaries of various states participated in the meeting, the release added.
The meeting was prompted due to a writ petition in the Supreme Court regarding establishing the concept of community kitchen across the country, formulation of a requisite scheme to provide food to the needy persons, and creating a national food grid for those persons beyond the scope of the Public Distribution System to fight with hunger and malnutrition.
Incidentally, the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) data released on Wednesday has revealed falling nutritional indicators across several states.
Earlier, the Secretary, DFPD held a meeting on November 21 with Chief Secretaries and Food Secretaries of states and UTs to discuss the model Community Kitchen Scheme.
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