Maharashtra government told the Bombay High Court that it would appoint Food Safety Commission within three months to ensure distribution of foodgrains to the beneficiaries under public distribution system (PDS) of the Centre and the state.
The ‘Antyoday Anna Yojana’ is the scheme relating to persons below poverty line (BPL and above poverty line (APL). Under National Food Security Act of 2013, it is mandatory to constitute a Food Safety Commission.
Government Pleader Abhinandan Vagyani assured a bench headed by Justice Naresh Patil that Food Safety Commission would be constituted within three months.
The High Court was hearing a bunch of six public interest litigations (PILs) relating to distribution of foodgrains to the beneficiaries.
The state government told the HC that a survey has been conducted for effective implementation of the Act. More than 7. crore persons have been identified to be eligible under the central scheme. As per an earlier survey done by the
state, 8.27 crore people were eligible for benefits under the scheme.
The High Court was informed that the Food and Civil Supply department of the state had issued a government resolution (GR) dated December 17, 2013 by which the cabinet had decided to benefit 177.1 lakh beneficiaries who were left out in the last survey conducted for implementation of the Act.
The petitioners contended that in spite of the decision taken by the state government as reflected in the GR of
December, 2013, eligible beneficiaries, numbering 177.19 lakh, are not getting the benefits of the scheme.
By another GR of July 24, 2015, the state government had decided to extend benefits to farmers of Aurangabad, Jalna, Nanded, Beed, Parbhani, Osmanabad, Latur and Hingoli districts, Wardha in Nagpur division and Washim, Akola, Buldana and Yavatmal in Amravati division, the HC was told.