The Centre on Thursday extended by three months the deadline by which States should roll out the National Food Security Act that provides for distribution of concessional foodgrains to 75 per cent of identified beneficiaries.

Under the Act, States were given time till July 4 to implement the Act but so far only five states have begun to roll out the scheme while six others are “in the process.”

To discuss the Act’s rollout and the problems faced by the States, the Centre has called a meeting of Food Ministers on July 5. The meeting will also discuss steps that States should take to check hoarding and tackle inflation.

Announcing the decisions taken at a high-level meeting convened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday, Union Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said it was mandatory for the government to announce an extension of the scheme under the Act. “The allocation of foodgrains to all States will continue on the basis of the Targeted Public Distribution System till they switch to the new dispensation under the Act,” he said at a press conference here.