What is Food Security Act?

What is Food Security Act?

What is Food Security Act? The National Food Security Act, 2013 (also Right to Food Act) aims to provide subsidised food grains to approximately two...

The National Food Security Act, 2013 (also Right to Food Act) aims to provide subsidised food grains to approximately two thirds of India's 1.2 billion people. It was signed into law on September 12, 2013. As Period of 365 days for identification of eligible households got over on 04.07.2014, an additional three months time was given to these States/UTs to complete the identification exercise and start implementation of the Act, which has been further extended by another six months, i.e. till 04.04.2015.

According to the National Family Health Survey 2005-06, 40.4 per cent of children under the age of three are underweight, 33 per cent of women in the age group of 15-49 have a body mass index below normal and 78.9 per cent of children in the age group of 6-35 months are anaemic. These are disturbing statistics which point to nutritional deficiencies. The NAC proposal for a National Food Security Bill is perhaps the most important national effort yet to address these deficiencies in India. The report of a High Level Committee on Reorienting the Role and Restructuring of Food Corporation of India, headed by senior BJP leader and former Food Minister Shanta Kumar, stated that coverage of food security legislation to 67% of population is much on the ‘higher side’ and should be brought down to around 40%, which will comfortably cover BPL families and some even above that.’ States is not lifting even grains allocated under APL families as there is hardly any demand from these families, the Committee pointed out. “Five kg grain per person to priority households under NFSA is actually making BPL households worse off, who used to get 7kg/person under the TPDS,” the panel has noted. “Given that leakages in PDS range from 40 to 50%, and in some states go as high as 60 to 70%, government should defer implementation of NFSA in states that have not done end to end computerisation; have not put the list of beneficiaries online for anyone to verify, and have not set up vigilance committees to check pilferage from PDS,” it recommended, according to the FE.

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