Kolkata: Amid several concerns raised by the states over the proposed National Food Security Bill, the Central government on Friday said that the final shape to the bill will be given after consulting the state governments.

“The state governments have highlighted around ten crucial points related to the ambitious Food Security Bill. These points will be discussed mutually before finalizing it,” said Union Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution K.V. Thomas on the sidelines of a programme here organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

The Bill is currently being considered by a Parliamentary Standing Committee.

The major issues raised by the states are flexibility in foodgrains distribution under the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) and proper division of costs between the Centre and states.

The Union Minister said that the Parliamentary Committee is keen on addressing all the concerns of the states and therefore, the bill will be finalized only after consulting the states.

Hinting at a healthy Centre-state relation over the issue, Thomas said, “West Bengal government had asked for Rs10 billion as assistance for foodgrain procurement from the Centre and both the parties are holding talks to work it out."

He further said that once the proposed law is enforced it will levy an extra burden on the Centre.

The ambitious Food Security Bill is likely to come into existence in the next fiscal.

JPN/Bureau