National Food Security Act

National Food Security Act

National Food Security Act

The article covers all about National Food Security Act includes about the Act, Eligibility Criteria, Provisions of the NAFA act 2013, and Subsidies. The topic is based on the Indian Polity and Governance- Constitution. 

Relevance for Prelims: Buffer stock, Public Distribution System.

Relevance for Mains: Government Policy intervention, Malnourishment menace

Context: There have been several petitions have been filed in the Supreme Court regarding the expansion of coverage net of the National Food Security Act which provides food at subsidized prices.

About National Food Security Act, 2013

The main objective of the act was to provide nutritional security in the human cycle approach by ensuring an adequate quantity of quality food at affordable prices to people a life with dignity.

The act covers 75% of the rural population and up to 50% urban population under the Targeted Public Distribution System. The act in total covers 67% of the total population.

 National Food Security Act

Pic: National Food Security Act


Priority households To be covered under TPDS, which are being provided food at affordable prices to people to live a life with dignity.

Households are covered under Antayodaya Anna Yojana.

Provisions of the NAFA Act 2013:

  • 5 kgs of foodgrains per person per month at 3/2/1 KG for rice/wheat and coarse grains.
  • Meals are provided for children up to 14 years of age.
  • Establishment of Grievance Redressal at the district and state levels.
  • Meal and maternity benefit of Rs6000 to pregnant women and lactating mothers during pregnancy and six months after childbirth.
  • Food security allowance to beneficiaries in event of non-supply of entitled foodgrains or meals.


The government spends around 1.75 lakh crores every year in PDS subsidy. In Economic Survey, Chief Economic Advisor argued that the government has highly subsidized food prices in India and has never increased the prices of food given under Fair Price Shops though there is a provision for an increase in the price of food every three years.


Foodgrains under NFSA were to be made available at subsidized prices of Rs. 3/2/1 per kg for rice, wheat, and coarse grains respectively for an initial period of three years from the date of commencement of the Act (July 13, 2013). Thereafter, prices were to be fixed by the Central Government from time to time, but not exceeding MSP. The government has decided from time to time to continue the above-mentioned subsidized prices under NFSA and their validity has last been extended up to June 2019.


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