National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013 – Today Current Affairs
This act aims to provide subsidized food grains to 67% Indians. It extends to the whole of India including J&K.
Today Current Affairs
Important features of the scheme:
- 75% rural and 50% of the urban population are entitled for 5 kg food grains/person/month at 3 Rupees, 2 Rupees, 1 Rupee per kg for rice, wheat and coarse grains (millet), respectively for 3 years and will get food security allowance in case of non-supply of food grains.
- Pregnant or lactating mothers and children of 6 to 14 yrs age are entitled to a nutritious extra “take home ration”. Govt. will use ICDS for it.
- The central government will provide funds to states in case of short supplies of food grains. While the states will determine eligibility. The Hindu Analysis
- Under the scheme, the eldest woman in the household, 18 years or above, is the head of the household for the issuance of the ration card.
- There will be state and district level redress mechanisms and State Food Commissions will be formed to implement and monitor the provisions of the Act.
- The poorest who are covered under the Antodaya yojana will remain entitled.
- It mandates govt. to provide cash to lactating or pregnant women through Indira Gandhi Matritya Sahyog Yojana (IGMSY).
- Free meal to children from 6 to 14, govt. intend it to do through MDM.
- The State Food Commission will apply a penalty if a public worker or authority fails to comply with the remedies proposed by the District Grievance Redressal Officer.
- IGMSY has less coverage than mandated by the act
- MDM will not reach to all children
Comptroller and Auditor General : The Hindu Analysis
Centre has been extending the rollout of the scheme, without the Parliament’s approval.
- NFSA has been rolled out in 33% of the regions so far. Even in them, only 51% of the eligible beneficiaries have been identified using the old database, available with the state. The Hindu Analysis
- Centre has failed to resolve the issues raised by states.
- Major reason for non-implementation is the lack of identification of beneficiaries under the socio-economic caste census, lack of infrastructure facilities, insufficient funds and manpower.
CAG recommendations : The Hindu Analysis
- Centre, in consultation with state governments, should issue guidelines for the identification of the beneficiaries to maintain transparency.
- Centre “must assure itself, of the actual beneficiaries by following transparent processes before allowing states to revise/enhance entitlements.”
Cashless distribution of food grain: Gujarat is the first state to implement such system.
The GoI has made Aadhar card mandatory for receiving subsidised food grains from all PDS shops under the National Food Security Act (NFSA).
State food commission : The Hindu Analysis
Every State Government shall constitute a State Food Commission. Recently SC reprimanded the states for not establishing state food commission because the act allows the states to designate existing bodies as the state food commission. Using the leeway the states has not established any food commission yet.