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Dissolution of Food and Nutrition Board: Rationalizing Government Bodies

The Food and Nutrition Board (FNB), a technical branch of the Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) responsible for providing logistical support to community nutrition programs, has been officially dissolved as part of the government’s plan to rationalize various bodies.

Restructuring and Reallocation of Resources

In a gazette notification issued on Monday, the WCD Ministry announced the dissolution of the FNB, which operated a wide network of offices, including four regional offices and several quality control laboratories across major cities like Faridabad, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai.

The decision to discontinue the FNB was taken after the Cabinet meeting on April 6, 2022, following recommendations from the Principal Economic Advisor’s report on the rationalization of government bodies in November 2020.

Personnel Reassignment and Asset Redistribution

The dissolution of the FNB involved significant actions affecting its employees and assets:

  • Out of 147 FNB employees, 33 opted for voluntary retirement under the Special Voluntary Retirement Scheme.
  • Seven technical officers of Group ‘A’ have been re-appointed to the Rashtriya Jan Sahayog aur Child Vikas Sansthan.
  • Sixty-one technical staff of Group ‘B’ and Group ‘C’ have been placed on deemed deputation to the Food Corporation of India (FCI).
  • Forty-six non-technical employees have been transferred to the surplus pool of the WCD ministry.

Regarding the reallocation of assets:

  • Three Community Food and Nutrition Extension Units (CFNEUs) in Mumbai, Jaipur, and Bhubaneswar have been transferred to the Directorate of Estates under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
  • The process of transferring four immovable properties in Faridabad, Chennai, Navi Mumbai, and Kolkata is underway.
  • The Central Food Testing Laboratory in Faridabad and the Regional Food Testing Laboratory in Chennai, both owned by FNB, are being handed over to the FCI or the Department of Food and Public Distribution (DFPD).
  • The leased Regional Food Testing Laboratories in Navi Mumbai and West Bengal will be leased to FCI and DFPD after obtaining necessary approvals from the respective state governments.

Streamlining Operations and Resources

The FNB’s activities were officially wound down as per a gazette notification dated June 16, 2021, and its formal dissolution was approved on November 30, 2022. Consequently, the FNB ceased operations from December 1, 2022.

This restructuring aims to streamline operations and optimize resources allocated to community nutrition programs while aligning with the government’s rationalization efforts.

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