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Pathway to food security

Posted by Shreyans Jain Monday, 17 June 2013 0 comments
The National Food Security Bill 2011 envisages food security for nearly 67 per cent of population of India, thus guaranteeing food as a justiciable, legal entitlement to its people. The Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) was introduced in June, 1997. It envisaged that Below Poverty Line (BPL) population would be identified in every state and every BPL family would be entitled to a certain quantity of food grains at highly subsidised prices.


The salient features of the National Food Security Bill are:

  1. PROVISIONS FOR FOOD SECURITY – 
  • Every person belonging to priority households shall be entitled to receive five kilograms of food grains per person per month at subsidised prices from the State Government under the Targeted Public Distribution System.
  • Every pregnant woman and lactating mother shall be entitled to meal, free of charge during pregnancy and six months after child birth so as to meet the nutritional standards.
  • Every child up to the age of fourteen years shall be entitled to free mid-day meal in all schools run by local bodies, Government and Government aided schools for his/her nutritional needs.
  • The State Government shall, through the local anganwadi, identify and provide meals, free of charge, to children who suffer from malnutrition.
2. FOOD SECURITY ALLOWANCE - In case of non-supply of entitled quantities of food grains or meals to the entitled persons, such persons shall be entitled to receive such food security allowance from the concerned State Government.

3.  REFORMS IN TARGETED PUBLIC DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM - The Central and State Governments shall endeavour to progressively to undertake necessary reforms that shall include doorstep delivery of food grains to the Targeted Public Distribution outlets, application of information and communication technology including end-to-end computerisation to ensure transparent recording of transactions at all levels and to prevent diversion, leveraging “aadhar” for unique identification and introducing schemes such as cash transfer, food coupons and so on.


4.  WOMEN EMPOWERMENT – The eldest woman who is not less than eighteen years of age, in every eligible household, shall be the head of the household for the purpose of issue of ration cards.

5.  GRIEVANCE REDRESSAL MECHANISM – Every State Government shall put in place an internal grievance redressal mechanism which may include call centres, helpline numbers, designation of nodal officers for expeditious and effective redressal of grievances of the aggrieved persons in matter relating to distribution of entitled food grains.

6.  OBLIGATIONS OF CENTRAL GOVERNMENT FOR FOOD SECURITY – The Central Government shall, for ensuring regular supply of food grains to persons belonging to eligible households, allocate from the central pool the required quantity of food grains to the State Governments under the Targeted Public Distribution System.

7.  TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY – All Targeted Public Distribution System related records shall be placed in the public domain and kept open for inspection to the public. Every local authority shall conduct periodic social audits on the functioning of fair price shops, Targeted Public Distribution System and other welfare schemes, and cause to publicise its findings and take necessary action.

8.  SUBSIDISED PRICES UNDER TARGETED PUBLIC DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM – Eligible households shall be entitled to food grains at subsidised price not exceeding rupees 3 per kg for rice, rupees 2 per kg for wheat and rupees 1 per kg for coarse grains for a period of three years.

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