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National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013

As passed by the Parliament, Government has notified the National Food Security Act, 2013 on 10th September, 2013 with the objective to provide for food andnutritional 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. 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 are 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.

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 child birth, such women are also be entitled to receive maternity benefit of not less than Rs. 6,000. Children upto 14 years of age are 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.

Status of implementation of the Act

The Act is now being implemented in all the States/UTs, and 80.72 crore persons are being covered out of intended coverage of 81.34 crore persons. In Chandigarh, Puducherry and urban areas of Dadra & Nagar Haveli, the Act is being implemented in the cash transfer mode, under which food subsidy is credited directly into the bank accounts of beneficiaries, who then have the choice to buy foodgrains from the open market.

Assistance to States/UTs for non-building assets for State Food Commissions

The National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA) provides that every State Government shall, by notification, constitute a State Food Commission for the purpose of monitoring and review of implementation of the Act. It has been decided that in case a State decides to set up State Food Commission on exclusive basis, Central Government will provide one time financial assistance for non building assets for State Food Commission. Accordingly a component viz., "Assistance to States/UTs for non-building assets for State Food Commissions” has been included under the Umbrella Scheme on "Strengthening of PDS operations” of the Department. Under this component, the assistance is available for non-building assets such as furniture, office equipment, computers etc. These may include computers, air-conditioners, photocopiers, Fax machines, telephones, EPABX system, tables, chairs, storage units etc. Under the scheme, assistance is not provided for any construction activity or any recurring expenses.

Assistance to States/UTs for meeting the expenditure on intra-State transportation and handling of foodgrains and fair price shop dealers’ margin

The Government has finalized the norms of expenditure on above items and the pattern of Central sharing, which are as under:

Category of States/UTs

Norms of expenditure

(Rate in Rs. per quintal)

Central Share

(in percent)

Intra-State transportation and handling

FPS dealers margin

Basic

Additional margin for sale through Point of Sale (PoS) Device

General

65

70

17

50

Special*

100

143

17

75

(* includes 7 States of North-East, Sikkim, Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Union Territories of Lakshadweep and Andaman & Nicobar Islands)


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