Food Security Bill Focuses on Nutritional Needs of Pregnant Women and Children

The Government promulgated the National Food Security Ordinance on 5.7.2013. Subsequently, the National Food Security Bill (NFSB), 2013 has been introduced in the Lok Sabha on 7.8.2013 to replace the Ordinance,.

As per the Bill, 75% of the rural and 50% of the urban population, at the all India level, will be entitled to receive subsidised foodgrains under Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS). It further provides that corresponding to the above,the State-wise coverage will be determined by the Central Government. As regards identification, the Ordinance provides that within the coverage under TPDS determined for each State, the identification of households is to be done by the State Governments. Salient features of the Bil are:-

  • Seeks to address the issue of food security in a life cycle approach separate entitlements for pregnant women and children, from 6 months of age and upto 14 years, besides entitlements to a much larger population to receive subsidised food grains under Targeted Public Distribution System
  • Coverage of 75% and 50% of rural and urban population under TPDS as a single category, with uniform entitlement of 5 kg per person per month.
  • Entitlement of existing AAY households to be protected at 35 kg per household per month.
  • Subsidised prices  Rs. 3/2/1 per kg for rice, wheat and coarse grains for a period of three years from the date of commencement and to be suitably linked to MSP thereafter.
  • Corresponding to the all India coverage, State-wise coverage to be determined by Central Govt.
  • Number of persons to be covered to be on the basis of the population estimates as per the census of which the relevant figures have been published.
  • Within the coverage determined for each State, State Govt. to identify households.
  • Pregnant women and lactating mothers to be entitled to meals and maternity benefit of not less than Rs. 6,000.
  • Children in the age group of 6 months to 14 years to be entitled to meals under ICDS and MDM schemes.
  • Eldest woman of the household of age 18 years or above to be the head of the household for the purpose of issuing of ration cards.
  • Grievance redressal mechanism at the District and State levels. States will have the flexibility to use the existing machinery or set up separate mechanism.
  • Central Government will provide assistance to States in meeting the expenditure incurred by them on transportation of foodgrains within the State, its handling and FPS dealers margin as per norms to be devised for this purpose.
  • Provisions for transparency and accountability
    • PDS related records to be placed in public domain
    • Social audit
    • Vigilance Committees
  • Provision for food security allowance to entitled beneficiaries in case of non-supply of entitledfoodgrains or meals
  • Provision for penalty on public servant or authority, to be imposed by the State Food Commission, in case of failure to comply with the relief recommended by the District Grievance Redressal Officer.

Tags: BillCentral GovernmentFood securityGovernment of IndiaIndiaLokSabhaPublic Distribution SystemState

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