Minister for Food and Civil Supplies Anoop Jacob said here on Thursday that steps would be taken to streamline the movement of food grains and other items for public distribution.

The Minister was addressing a meeting of officials of the Food Corporation of India and State Civil Supplies Department and the representatives of the wholesale ration dealers.

To facilitate time bound lifting of ration articles; the subsidy rates for every month would be announced on the 20 of the previous month, he announced. The dealers assured that they would lift stocks by 23 of the (previous) month.

The Minister said that advance schedules would be prepared for movement of stocks and called for the cooperation of truck operators in this regard. If there were any impediments in bringing goods vehicles to the godowns, those issues would be discussed with the Motor Vehicles Department. Arrangements would be made for direct transfer of food grains from goods trains to trucks in case of urgency.

Mr. Jacob warned that the government would not hesitate to use laws such as ESMA to streamline movement of food materials. The government was also considering fixing of tariff norms for truckers to prevent over-charging.