National Food Security Act, 2013
2021 MAR 2
Economic Development > Miscellaneous > Public distribution system
Why in news?
- The NITI Aayog recently circulated a discussion paper on a proposed revision in the National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013.
About National Food Security Act, 2013
- The National Food Security Act was implemented in July 2013.
- The Act provides for coverage of upto 75% of the rural population and upto 50% of the urban population for receiving subsidized foodgrains under Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS), thus covering about two-thirds of the population.
- The eligible persons will be entitled to receive 5 Kgs of foodgrains per person per month at subsidised prices of Rs. 3/2/1 per Kg for rice/wheat/coarse grains.
- The existing Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) households, which constitute the poorest of the poor, will continue to receive 35 Kgs of foodgrains per household per month.
Special provisions for women and children:
- The Act also has a special focus on the nutritional support to women and children.
- Besides meal to pregnant women and lactating mothers during pregnancy and six months after the childbirth, such women will also be entitled to receive maternity benefit of not less than Rs. 6,000.
- Children upto 14 years of age will be entitled to nutritious meals as per the prescribed nutritional standards.
- In case of non-supply of entitled foodgrains or meals, the beneficiaries will receive food security allowance.
- The Act also contains provisions for setting up of grievance redressal mechanism at the District and State levels.
- Separate provisions have also been made in the Act for ensuring transparency and accountability.
What has the NITI Aayog proposed?
- In its discussion paper, the NITI Aayog has suggested that the national rural and urban coverage ratio be reduced from the existing 75-50 to 60-40.
- If this reduction happens, the number of beneficiaries under the NFSA will drop to 71.62 crore (on the basis of the projected population in 2020).
- To make these changes in the law, the government will have to amend sub-section (2) of Section 3 of the NFSA. For this, it will require parliamentary approval.
- If the national coverage ratio is revised downward, the Centre can save up to Rs 47,229 crore (as estimated by the NITI Aayog paper).
Consider the following statements regarding National Food Security Act, 2013:
1.The Act provides for coverage of upto 75% of the rural population under Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS).
2.The eligible persons will be entitled to receive 5 Kgs of foodgrains per person.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(c)Both 1 and 2
(d)Neither 1 nor 2
Answer to the Prelims Question