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

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  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:

Prologue

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
foodgrain ~185kg
edible oil ~16kg
milk 295 gm/day (higher than world avg.)
eggs 55/year
Fruits 172gm/day
Vegetables 350gm/day

 

Timeline
1997
  • Targeted Public distribution system  (TPDS)
  • Two tier pricing structure: BPL and APL.
  • State Governments decide BPL and APL based Planning commission
2000
  • Antyoday Anna Yojana
  • 25 kg foodgrain per family
  • Rice price: Rs.3/kg
  • Wheat price: Rs.2/kg
2013
  • National food security act passed. Today’s topic of discussion
Responsibility under Food security act
UNION STATE
allot foodgrains to states as per their requirement identifying the eligible households
transport food grain to states Deliver it to beneficiaries.
if stock insufficient, then give food allowance to states if 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
Household They’ll get __ Foodgrain
Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY)i.e. bottom strata of BPL population 35 kg for entire family
Priority household 5 kg per person

 

Who gets what & how much?
Foodgrain households will pay Rs. ___ per kg
Rice 3
Wheat 2
Coarse grains 1
Women preg/lactating*(6 months post birth)
  • free meals @Anganwadi
  • Rs.6000 in installments
child: 6 month upto 6 years free 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 force July 2013, 5th
Deadline to identify eligible households July 2014 (i.e. within a year)
BJP Government Extended “household-identification” deadline to October 2014

State/UT who already implemented

Full partial
  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.
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76 Comments on “Food Security Act: Salient features, Benefits, Entitlements, grievances redressal system & criticism”

  1. U r great sir!!!!!!

  2. 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.

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

  4. 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.

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

  6. THANKS A LOT SIR JI
    YOU ARE REALLY HELPING MILLIONS OF PEOPLES…..
    ITS A GREAT JOB

  7. SIR , I have listen your economy survey series

    its very useful and important

  8. 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!!!

  9. wow nice explanation thanks mrunal sir

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