Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan today said his top priorities will be to contain price rise in food items, improve public distribution system (PDS) and create adequate storage capacity for foodgrains.
Speaking to reporters after assuming charge as Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Paswan said: "I have just assumed charge. In next one week, I will discuss important issues such as PDS, FCI godowns and ensuring minimum support price (MSP) to farmers with food and consumer affairs secretaries and then fix priorities."
He said his ministry will work for providing maximum benefits to public and farmers. "My priority will be to correct the deficiencies in public distribution system. We will strengthen the PDS," said Paswan, who was accompanied by his son Chirag Paswan while taking the charge.
Stating that the grains purchased by the government should not "rot", the minister said the Centre would create adequate storage space. "Our government's priority will be to check price rise and corruption," Paswan added. The Centre will also ensure that farmers get the MSP for their produce, he said, adding that it will work in co-ordination with the state governments.
With his latest victory from Hajipur seat in Bihar, Paswan will enter Lok Sabha for a record 9th time. He made a dream debut in Parliament in 1977 by a margin of 4.24 lakh votes that took him straight to the Guinness Book of World Records.
Known in political circles for correctly judging which way the wind was blowing, the 67-year-old Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) leader will be a prominent Dalit face of the new government.