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Food Security (Assistance To State Government Rules) 2015 amended

Topics Covered: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Food Security (Assistance To State Government Rules) 2015 amended:


Context:

Centre amends Food Security rules to prevent ration leakage, corruption.

  • The government said that this amendment has been made as an attempt to take forward the reform process envisaged under Section 12 of the National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013 by way of improving the transparency of the operation of the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) under NFSA.

Significance:

  1. This amendment aims to ensure the right quantity to beneficiaries in the distribution of subsidised food grains under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013 as per their entitlement.
  2. It also incentivizes states who have been using ePoS efficiently and encourages states to improve efficiency in ePoS operations and generate savings.

The amendment:

According to the amendment, states that are operating their ePoS devices judiciously and are able to generate savings from the additional margin of Rs 17 per quintal can now utilise the savings for purchase, operations and maintenance of electronic weighing scales and their integration with the point of sale devices.

National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013:

The objective is to provide for food and nutritional security in human life cycle approach, by ensuring access to adequate quantity of quality food at affordable prices to people to live a life with dignity.

Key features:

Coverage and entitlement under Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS): The TDPS covers 50% of the urban population and 75% of the rural population, with uniform entitlement of 5 kg per person per month. However, the poorest of the poor households will continue to receive 35 kg of food grains per household per month under Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY).

Subsidised prices under TPDS and their revision: For a period of three years from the date of commencement of the Act, Food grains under TPDS will be made available at subsidised prices of Rs. 3/2/1 per kg for rice, wheat and coarse grains.

Identification of Households: The identification of eligible households is to be done by States/UTs under TDPS determined for each State.

Nutritional Support to women and children: Children in the age group of 6 months to 14 years and pregnant women and lactating mothers will be entitled to meals as per prescribed nutritional norms under Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) and Mid-Day Meal (MDM) schemes. Malnourished children up to the age of 6 have been prescribed for higher nutritional norms.

Maternity Benefit: Pregnant women and lactating mothers will also be receiving maternity benefit of Rs. 6,000.

Women Empowerment: For the purpose of issuing of ration cards, eldest woman of the household of age 18 years or above is to be the head of the household.

Grievance Redressal Mechanism: Grievance redressal mechanism available at the District and State levels.

Cost of transportation & handling of food grains and Fair Price Shop (FPS) Dealers’ margin: the expenditure incurred by the state on transportation of food grains within the State, its handling and FPS dealers’ margin as per norms to be devised for this purpose and assistance to states will be provided by the Central Government to meet the above expenditure.

Transparency and Accountability: In order to ensure transparency and accountability, provisions have been made for disclosure of records relating to PDS, social audits and setting up of Vigilance Committees.

Food Security Allowance: In case of non-supply of entitled food grains or meals, there is a provision for food security allowance to entitled beneficiaries.

Penalty: If the public servant or authority fails to comply with the relief recommended by the District Grievance Redressal Officer, penalty will be imposed by the State Food Commission according to the provision.

 

Insta Curious: 

  1. Do you know what MDR is? Read Here
  2. Do you know PDS falls under the Special Merchant Category* ? Check here

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Key features of NFSA.
  2. NFSA vs National Food Security Mission.
  3. About Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme.
  4. About Mid-Day Meal (MDM) scheme.
  5. About AAY.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of NFSA.

Sources: the Hindu.