Food Security Act: Salient features, Benefits, Entitlements, grievances redressal system & criticism

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IAS Mock Interviews
  1. Prologue
  2. National Food security Act
  3. Prices and Entitlements under NFSA
  4. Grievance Redressal Mechanism:
  5. Deadlines under Food security Act
  6. Implementation in States/UT
  7. Targeted PDS system reformed
  8. Limitation of NFSA:


Economic Survey Chapter 8: Agriculture and Food Management. SIX subparts:

  1. Fertilizer subsidy & schemes, Budget-2014 announcement
  2. Minimum support pricing
  3. National food security act (NFSA)
  4. WTO Bali Summit
  5. APMC reforms, National market for agriculture, NSEL crisis
  6. El Nino and its impact on Indian monsoon

National Food security Act

India: Per capita availability of Food
edible oil~16kg
milk295 gm/day (higher than world avg.)


  • Targeted Public distribution system  (TPDS)
  • Two tier pricing structure: BPL and APL.
  • State Governments decide BPL and APL based Planning commission
  • Antyoday Anna Yojana
  • 25 kg foodgrain per family
  • Rice price: Rs.3/kg
  • Wheat price: Rs.2/kg
  • National food security act passed. Today’s topic of discussion
Responsibility under Food security act
allot foodgrains to states as per their requirementidentifying the eligible households
transport food grain to statesDeliver it to beneficiaries.
if stock insufficient, then give food allowance to statesif can’t deliver foodgrains to beneficiaries, pay them food allowance. (Union will decide the rates).
  • 67% of Indian population covered.
  • State Governments have to identify the households in such manner that 75% rural + 50% urban population covered.
  • States can use data from socio-economic and caste census (SECC). click me for more details

Who gets what? Prices and Entitlements in NFSA

National food security Act salient features

Ration card in the name of eldest woman of household. If not available then eldest man


Quantitative entitlements
HouseholdThey’ll get __ Foodgrain
Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY)i.e. bottom strata of BPL population35 kg for entire family
Priority household5 kg per person


Who gets what & how much?
Foodgrainhouseholds will pay Rs. ___ per kg
Coarse grains1
Women preg/lactating*(6 months post birth)
  • free meals @Anganwadi
  • Rs.6000 in installments
child: 6 month upto 6 yearsfree meal @Anganwadi
child 6 years to 14 years
  • free midday meal at school
  • take-home rations
in case of non-availability of foodgrains
  • Union will give Food security allowance to states
  • states will give to beneficiaries

*Assistance to pregnant women under NFSA, is similar to Indira Gandhi Matrutva Shayog Yojana, under which pregnant women are given Rs.4000 in 3 installments

Grievance Redressal Mechanism:

State Food commission
  • Supervise all entitlements
  • evaluate implementation of this act
  • Power of civil court, punish + penalty up to Rs.5000
  • 1 chairman+ 5 members + 1 secretary
District grievance Redressal officer
  • First point for complaint under NFSA
  • Further appeal to State food officer
+ call centres and helplines

Targeted PDS system reformed

  • Grievance redressal mechanisms at district and state levels.
  • TPDS stores license- first preference will be given to panchayats, SHGs and cooperatives.
  • Doorstep delivery of food-grains to TPDS outlets.
  • ICT tools to ensure transparency
  • Introduction of schemes like, Aadhar cards, direct cash transfer, food coupons for targeted beneficiaries (recommended by Kaushik basu committee)

Deadlines under Food security Act

Law came into forceJuly 2013, 5th
Deadline to identify eligible householdsJuly 2014 (i.e. within a year)
BJP Government Extended “household-identification” deadline toOctober 2014

State/UT who already implemented

  1. Haryana
  2. Rajasthan
  3. Punjab
  4. Chhattisgarh
  5. Maharashtra
  1. Delhi
  2. Chandigarh
  3. Himachal Pradesh
  4. Karnataka
  5. Madhya Pradesh
  6. Bihar

Limitation of NFSA:

(List not exhaustive)

  1. High fiscal burden- subsidy cost above 1.25 lakh crore rupees per year. (Budget 2014 allotted 1.15 lakh crores, out of that, 88000 crore specially for Food security act.)
  2. Government will have to keep large stock of foodgrains but FCI storage capacity insufficient.
  3. If so much food grains kept out of open market (and under FCI godowns)=> food inflation, middle class will suffer.
  4. Government may have to import foodgrain during drought years => additional current account deficit.(CAD)
  5. An Adult needs ~14kg foodgrain. While NFSA gives only 5 kg per person to Priority households- cruel joke and marketing gimmick.
  6. Focusing only cereal. What about pulses (to give protein), edible oil (to give fat), fruits, vegetables (for vitamin) and milk- to combat malnutrition?
  7. Malnutrition has its connections with lack of sanitation and medical facilities in rural areas. NFSA alone insufficient.
  8. Parliamentary standing Committee has recommended GPS tracking of trucks, CCTVs in go-downs to prevent diversion. But this are not implemented.
  9. identifying households eligible for this scheme = big challenge
  10. Section 44 of the act: During natural calamity and wars- Union and state govt. will not be responsible for non-supply of foods.
  11. Stopping “institutional” corruption in state PDS machinery = mission impossible #6.
  12. Modi decided to shut down planning commission because the “renovation Cost” was too high. Same is the problem with this entire PDS system- it needs to be shut down, Government should simply give foodstamp / DBT to poors, let’em buy whatever food they want from open market. These “beneficiaries / entitlements/ mai-bap-raj” must end.
  13. Economic survey: it doesn’t openly say that NFSA is Bogus, but recommends “food stamps” be given to poors because “(free) market economies” use that mechanism.

Mrunal recommends

  1. (free) NCERT, NIOS, TN-Books 4 History,Geo,Sci
  2. Indian Polity M.Laxmikanth (Hindi | English)
  3. Spectrum: Modern History (Hindi | English)
  4. Maths: Quantam CAT Sarvesh Kumar
  5. Objective General English SP Bakshi
  6. Word Power made Easy -Norman Lowe
  7. Topic wise Solved Paperset by Disha

75 Comments on “Food Security Act: Salient features, Benefits, Entitlements, grievances redressal system & criticism”

  1. Hats off to u for ur selfless and incesstant work.hoping that u will finish this series before 23 aug

  2. totally dependent on you.. speed badha do sir thodi


  4. such a great service to the people. hats off….. i have not seen such a wonderful explanation of the concepts anywhere else. Coachiing institutes to lagta hai sabh band ho jayenge. Great service to rural students junta in words of Mrunal

  5. man gaye apko thanx

  6. Prabhu!!!!!

    U are embarrassing us by ur hard work…

  7. thank u sir ….GOOD INFO indeed.

    ***** SIR ANY TIPS REGARDING WHAT TO REVISE IN THIS LAST STAGE …///????====means imp topics.

    what about Interim budget …??? can I leave it ???

    1. You can skip at this stage focus only on polity, history, geography, national parks locations, which species endangered and found where, location of major geographical features of the world like major rivers, deserts, mountains etc. They don’t ask anything from budget in prelims.

  8. Heart wrenching Images :(

    1. Correct Rahul,especially “Antyojana anna yojana” pic. can’t digest this one,how pathetic life they are living.If I get service I will have only one aim—> “The power should not be enjoyed but utilized”. Otherwise there is no meaning for my position.though there are constraints one should not skip her/his task and deviate from her/his path,commitment matters.

      1. Bravo !!!!I India needs people like u….!!!!

      2. @ santosh whatever we do in life IAS or another work , we promise to strive hard for this country to relive it of the evil menance i.e Poverty

        1. Yes,absolutely correct.Our attitude should be “If Being a bureaucrat we can do 80% with ease,then being a citizen we can do at least 50%”.Whatever the work we do,we have to give our 100% to the qualitative development of our country.

    2. Exactly. What’s the point in keeping such images for illustration purpose? Could have kept better graphics! Or maybe it isn’t a very necessary condition for an article!

      1. Face the reality dear, it is the bitter truth of our country………


  10. Mrunal sir,what is the solution in case of tie (exactly equal votes to 2 or more candidates) in general election?

    1. Counting again and if the situation remains election again.

  11. badhiya prastuti. shukriya mrunal ji

  12. Sir plz explain polar fleeing force :)

  13. Thanks a ton for ur meticulous effort Mrunal!! All ur articles have helped us tremendously.

  14. Hello friends
    I am sorry to ask this question in this food security act article but as this one is latest on the list so I thought it will be the best place to get it answered. Actually my question is related with polity only and with particular phrase ‘equal protection of laws’. I am not able to get clearly what’s the actual difference between this phrase and ‘equality before law’. This has always confused me! The way it is explained in Laxmikanth(third reprint edition) page 7.4 in Fundamental rights chapter is confusing me more even. Please if anyone of you can help me in understanding the difference between the two, I will be greatly thankful to him/her.
    Also please the air between ‘procedure established by law’ and ‘due process of law’.
    Thanks in advance and good luck for D-day

  15. Antyoday Anna Yojana————————————–> 35 kg/h

  16. Which of the following not involved in the prep.. of budget?(having confusion)

    1.Finance commission
    3.Planning commission
    4.Finance ministry

      1. ans is 1(source laxmikant) so confused

        1. I do think so option is 1, becoz, it is constituted once in 5 yrs to work on the revenue sharing/allocation between the states. But is CAG taking part in Budget preparation, answer could be 1 and 3

          1. Sorry – it is a typo 1 and 2

        2. Confusion is between Option 1 and 2 only. I also chose CAG but as you are saying this is wrong then may be as per as article 279 Laxmikanth is not referring to option 2 which says certificate of CAG for net proceeds of any tax or duty shall be final which is given itself in CAG chapter of book :/

        3. CAG has no role in Union Budget Preparation. CAG’s role is finding out whether the money alloyed for various purposes was properly spent or not. CAG has post implementation functions and not Pre implementation function. Finance commission has pivotal role in budget preparation. (Read roles of finance commission.) Further not just the finance ministry but all the ministries all involved in budget preparation. For example, how could the govt decide defense spending without consulting defense ministry. Similar arguments hold good for all the ministries. So only option left is CAG.
          For a detailed Reading on making of Union Budget Refer Yojana March 2013, Page 8-10

          1. Option is finance ministry . Department of economic affairs under finance ministry prepares draft report on budget . Source : Mrunal economic survey chapter 1 video

          2. Sorry guys . studied question wrongly. Now only saw question . Its right . CAG is definitely not involved

        4. Yes. The ans is Finance Commission just searched the badget making process., but there is no mention of Planning Commision either.
          Nice question B+ve

    1. CAG does involve in preparation of budget….and if u dont know the answer also use elimination technique how finance commission can involve in preparation of budget when it is constituted once in every 5 years….

      1. 1. Well its not necessarily constituted once in five years. FC has no fixed tenure and continues as long as President deems fit.
        2. There are two expenditures of the Budget 1. Plan Expenditure 2. Non Plan expenditure
        Plan expenditure part of the budget is based on recommendations of Planning Commission.
        Non Plan expenditure is based on recommendation of Finance Commission. Since FC is a constitutional body whereas PC is not there has been criticism of PC taking over importance over FC. The reason is that plan ependitures are much more than Non Plan Expenditures. Now dear friends the recommendations of FC are given shape in the form of Grand in Aids to states and various departments in the form of statutory grants, whereas discretionary grants have PC are the driving force behind them. Both these body are central in budget making process. Correct your facts. Its CAG thats absent in the GAME OF BUDGET.

      2. Further, I cant Imagine in which document other than the Union Budget could the central govt declare the grants in aid to the states, which are decided by the finance commission. A you might well remember not a single paisa can be withdrawn from the Consolidated fund of India without the parliament approving an appropriation bill, these grants in aid are beyond doubt passed through various appropriation bills, which constitute the Union Budget.
        And If you know an Involvement of the CAG in the making of Union Budget please elaborate.

    2. @ B+ve…very good and confusing question….i feel 1 & 2 are correct

      1. @ALL

        CAG submits three audit reports

        1. audit report on appropriation a/c
        2. audit report on finance a/c
        3. audit report on public undertakings a/c

        The appropriation a/c compares the actual expenditure sanctioned by the Parliament through the Appropriation Act, while the finance a/c show the annual receipts and disbursements of the Union Govt. So this info/data are vital for Budget so we can say CAG take part in Budget preparation.

        Actually I feel the question is of interpretation and analysis rather that factual.

        A very new kind of question I encountered this way

        Which of the following audit is discretionary on the part of CAG
        1. Audit of accountancy
        2. Audit of authority
        3. Audit of appropriation
        4. Audit of properity

        1. This is a bit confusing but if I had to face this question in real exam I would still go with CAG. CAG is an inspector and gives no input on what the govt should spend and where. Whereas FC gives important input on govt’s expenditures.

          1. CAG certifies net proceeds of taxes .so CAG is definately involved .

    3. can you tell me the source of these questions?? Any specific questionnaire??

  17. Sir,, I had not got my admit card as it ws showing incomplete part 2….I followed d procedure…but upsc took the decision in the lunch today that all 53000 cases of non issuance of admit cafd will be dismisssd..sir what to do…had completed everything…why it happened to me…had prepared well…shucks man…I m feeling utterly frustated…pls guide.

  18. thanx sir!. Great article before pre.

  19. plz share link for latest list of endangered species..anyway b+ ans 1 is correct..and there is no confusion..

  20. tanks a ton……………………………..

  21. Mrunal sir,
    It is so beneficial for serious candidates.sir can you give the important topics to revise these peak days….

  22. in antodaya yojana its 35 kg @ MRUNAL and not 25 kg ., kindly verify

    1. The court might hear it but there cant be any problem since the notice only made it easier for the candidates, nothing new is added only removed, further they will get more time per question so the plea that it will do bad to candidates is only ridiculous. There is all the chances of it getting dismissed in the first hearing.

  23. Hey mrunal now that delhi high court is hearing the pil against jitu bhai ka decision aap bata sakte ho kya hone wala hai?

  24. What about the cost sharing b/w center and state? if anyone pls

    1. All cost on central govt.

      1. the cost will be share among centre and state if it is not correct with facts plzz clarify

        1. I am wrong winner is correct.

    2. 75:25 STATES OTHER THAN NORTHEAST (90:10)

  25. can anybody tell me the expected date of sbi po result?

  26. Mrunal sir i don’t know that i am going to pass or not but i am completely satisfied with your great work. your article made easy to understand hectic term.
    i humbly wana thank you .

  27. thanks mrunal bhai.

  28. U r great sir!!!!!!

  29. CAG indeed has no role in budget preparation. Well it does prepare the audit reports, all the three kinds, but to the extent of my knowledge nowhere are these reports considered in budget preparation. Process of budget preparation is done exante whereas whatever cag does, is in expost mode.

  30. Clarity max! thank you so much mrunal sir.

  31. Often in films, we come across a dialogue ” bhagwan alag alag rup lekar aate hain aapki madad karne”. In this world of crony capitalism and profit-mongering businesses, a social service of this quality and level makes you want to believe once again that all is still not lost in this world. Faith, yes that is probably what, it brings to you. I just hope it were possible to meet you once or at least to see you walking & breathing with my own eyes, just to really assure myself that this is not a figment of my imagination, but indeed a burning light in this dark, frightening world.

    You have my respects.

  32. which ministry implemented the food security act mins of consumer or agriculture?


  34. SIR , I have listen your economy survey series

    its very useful and important

  35. oh my god! i almost fainted when i couldn’t find the archives on the site!! phew! mil gaye lekin. your economy archives are my roti kapda for the economics optional paper 2 sir!! thank you!!!

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