Department of Food and Public Distribution, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution is organizing a ‘National Conference of Food Ministers’ on Wednesday, 5th July 2023 in New Delhi. The conference is aimed at developing an action plan for the procurement of coarse grains during Kharif Marketing Season (KMS) 2023-24, discussing key initiatives undertaken by the Government for effective implementation of PMGKAY, disseminating best practices of States/UTs, and strengthening the focus on food and nutritional security. Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Commerce & Industry and Textiles, Piyush Goyal will chair the Conference. The Conference would also be graced by the Union Ministers of State for Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Ms. Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti and Ashwini Kumar Choubey and Ministers of Food & Civil Supplies of States/UTs.
The key highlight of the Conference would include the launch of the sugar-ethanol portal by Piyush Goyal. Other key agenda points for discussion include the implementation of SMART-PDS, Supply Chain Optimization, grading of procurement centres, and transformation of Fair Price Shops (FPSs), among others. The conference will serve as a platform to reflect upon the challenges and opportunities for achieving the transformation of the food and nutrition security ecosystem in the country and lay down the roadmap for 2023-24. In the last 9 years, the Department of Food and Public Distribution has undertaken numerous initiatives ensuring targeted and timely delivery of food grains to the poor and vulnerable sections of society. The implementation of the flagship scheme, Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) from January 1, 2023, has further enabled the provision of free food grains to nearly 80 crore beneficiaries. Through these significant measures, TPDS has been strengthened and its efficiency enhanced. To further sustain the progress and improvement in the system, the Department is planning to introduce new initiatives to enhance the efficiencies of the system and strengthen the focus on food and nutritional security.