New Delhi: The Centre on Tuesday said 50 per cent of the states, including those ruled by BJP, are ready to implement the food law by December as others prepare to roll it out, while some have aired certain concerns.
A Committee of Secretaries (CoS) will be set up to address the concerns of the states on issues such as framing criteria for identification of beneficiaries and sharing of financial burden among others, it said.
"50 per cent of states including BJP-ruled are ready to implement the food law by end of December," Food Minister KV Thomas said, briefing reporters about the outcome of the meeting with state Food Ministers on the implementation of the central food security laws.
Other states are also under preparation and eventually everyone will implement. "No states have said they will not implement the law," he said.
Highlighting concerns of the states, Thomas said: "One of the main issues was protecting existing allocation. Of 35 states, 18 states would be getting lower than the current allocation. We have assured them that it will be protected."
On Tamil Nadu`s demand to protect the quantity of grains and price, he said: "Tamil Nadu is worst hit by the food law. We said we will protect their coverage."
On identification of beneficiaries by the states, the minister said that the socio-economic caste census would be available by the end of November for them.
Thomas said states asked the Centre to share the cost of transportation-handling and margin of ration shops dealers.
On this demand, he said that the Centre has agreed to share the burden even though some states like Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are fully bearing the cost.
Out of 28 states and seven union territories, 22 food ministers were present in the meeting and the rest were represented by senior officials.
Notably, food ministers from BJP ruled states Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh abstained from the meeting. Food Minister of Delhi, which was first to announce the implementation of the law, was also not present.