This was indicated by the north eastern states - Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura - at a meeting with Union Food Minister KV Thomas held on Tuesday in Guwahati, an official statement said.
"State Food Ministers informed about the steps being taken to implement the Act in their state. Almost all states indicated that implementation will begin by March, 2014 or latest by middle of 2014," it said.
The meeting with food ministers of north eastern states was held to review the preparedness for implementation of the National Food Security Act.
For smooth implementation of the new food law, Thomas and Assam Chief Minister Taurn Gogoi on Tuesday laid the foundation stone for construction of an administrative building of the state-run Food Corporation of India (FCI) at Guwahati.
About 70 FCI depots are currently operational in north east, while another 20 of them are under construction. A full-fledged office will help better coordination.
During the review meeting, north eastern states raised state-specific issues relating to impact of new law on existing food-grains allocation and financial assistance for intra-state transportation, handling of food-grains and ration shop dealers' margin, the statement said.
Assuring the seven states of protecting the existing food-grains allocation, Thomas said that the Centre is aware of the problems faced by them and all aspects will be kept in mind while deciding norms in this regard.
State food ministers were asked to personally monitor the construction of storage capacity and ensure progress of the ongoing projects is not hampered.
Besides, state governments were asked to construct intermediate food-grains storage facilities with use of funds available under the MGNREGA, the statement said.
Doorstep delivery of food-grains under the law, and computerization of public distribution system (PDS), among other issues were discussed in the meeting.
In September, Parliament passed the food law to give 67 per cent of the population the right to subsidized food-grains.
Each eligible person would get 5 kg of food-grains a month at Rs 3 per kg for rice, Rs 2 per kg for wheat and Rupee 1 per kg for coarse cereals through the State Government under the PDS.
Congress-ruled Delhi, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh have already announced the launch of the food law. Other states are preparing to roll it out.


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