Food Security Bill to Provide Minimum Support Price to more Farmers

In the wake of the increased requirement of foodgrains for implementation of the proposed Food Security Act, procurement operations will be further extended and more farmers will get the benefits of MSP operations. Foodgrain requirement for the implementation of the bill is estimated 614.3 lakh tonnes as against the existing requirement of 563.7 lakh tonnes for Targeted Public Distribution System.

After implementation of the proposed Act, about 75 % persons in villages will get wheat at the rate of Rs. 2 and rice at the rate of Rs. 3 per kg. But farmers will get more for their produce i.e. Rs.12.85 per kg for wheat and Rs.12.50 per kg for paddy as minimum support price.

Access to highly subsidized foodgrains to small farmers under proposed Food Security Act and assured MSP for their produce will ease the burden on their earnings and allow them the option to spend the money so saved on other necessities. Hence it will help to improve their quality of life. Therefore, contrary to dissuading farmers from producing more, the Act will in fact encourage them to produce more.

Two-third of the population will become legally entitled to receive highly subsidized food grains after the enactment of the Food Security Bill. Each entitled person will receive 5 kg of food grains per month i.e. rice, wheat or coarse grains at Rs.3, Rs.2 and Re. 1 per kg respectively. The poorest of the poor will continue to get 35 kg food grains per household per month under AAY. The bill has special focus on nutritional needs of women and children. The eldest woman of the household above 18 years is considered the head of the household for the purpose of issue of ration cards as per provisions of the Bill. Pregnant women and lactating mothers will get maternity benefit of Rs. 6000 besides nutritious food. Children below 14 years of age will get food with higher nutritional norms. On the issue of redressing grievances that may arise in implementation of such a massive programme, it has been planned to give an increased role for Panchayati Raj institutions and women™s self help groups in programme-monitoring and social auditing. There will be provision for internal grievance redressal mechanism including call centres and helplines; and District Grievance Redressal Officers and State Food Commission for expeditious and effective relief to the people.

Tags: BillFoodFood securityFood Security ActHouseholdPanchayati rajPublic Distribution SystemRupee

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