Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Anil Baijal seeks govt reply on functioning of food commission

The Indian Express: New Delhi: Wednesday, July 26, 2017.
Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal has sought a report from the Delhi government over the functioning of the Public Grievance Commission (PGC) as the State Food Commission (SFC). The L-G asked for the report after the government sent him a file seeking his approval to constitute the SFC, after a delay of almost three years. SFC is a body mandated under the National Food Security (NFS) Act, 2013, to monitor and ensure the effective implementation of food and nutrition-related schemes such as Mid-Day Meal scheme and ICDS.
In 2013, the then Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung had notified that the PGC will function as the SFC. At that time, the Congress government was in power and in July 2013, the cabinet had approved the constitution of the SFC.
“L-G Baijal has sought a report from the PGC in terms of its functioning as the SFC under the NFS Act,” said a letter to the PGC chairman on June 14.
Though the PGC should have been functioning as the SFC, an RTI reply dated November 2016 states, “The matter is pending with the administrative reforms department to resolve the issue regarding requisite condition of the constitution of the SFC for the NCT of Delhi as it is not being fulfilled by the present structure of the PGC. The present status is that the State Food Commission under this commission has not been constituted till date.”
Seeing the absence of SFC in Delhi, NGO Matri Sudha had filed a petition in the Delhi High Court last year seeking a response from the government. “We moved court since the PGC was not working as the SFC. Every time we filed an RTI, the reply stated it was under process. Three years have passed by without an SFC,” said Arvind Singh of Matri Sudha. The next hearing in the case is in September.
Several states, including Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Gujarat, Haryana, Chhattisgarh and Telangana, have a functioning SFC.