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National Food Security Act, 2013 Revisions Recommended by NITI Aayog

Revising National Food Security Act, 2013: NITI Aayog:

NITI Aayog, through a discussion paper, has recommended reducing the rural and urban coverage under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013, to 60% and 40%, respectively.

  • It has also proposed a revision of beneficiaries as per the latest population which is currently being done through Census- 2011.
  • Approximately 2.37 crore households or 9.01 crore persons, as in February 2021 under Antyodaya Anna Yojana.
  • While approximately 70.35 crore persons are under the priority households.

Significance of the NITI Aayog’s Recommendations:

  • If the rural-urban coverage ratio remains the same (67% of all population), then the total number of people covered will increase from the existing 81.35 crores to 89.52 crore – an increase of 8.17 crore (based on the projected 2020 population).
  • This will result in an additional subsidy requirement of Rs. 14,800 crore.
  • If the national coverage ratio is revised downward, the Centre can save up to Rs. 47,229 crore.
  • This amount of savings can be utilised by the Government in other important areas of concern such as health and education.

National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013

  • Notified on: 10th September 2013.
  • Objective: To provide for food and nutritional security in the human life cycle approach, by ensuring access to adequate quantities of quality food at affordable prices to people to live a life with dignity.
  • Coverage: 75% of the rural population and upto 50% of the urban population for receiving subsidized foodgrains under the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS).
  • Overall, NFSA caters to 67% of the total population.
  • Priority Households to be covered under TPDS, according to guidelines by the State government.
  • Households covered under existing Antyodaya Anna Yojana.
  • Provisions:
    • 5 Kgs of foodgrains per person per month at Rs. 3/2/1 per Kg for rice/wheat/coarse grains.
    • The existing AAY household will continue to receive 35 Kgs of foodgrains per household per month.
    • Meal and maternity benefit of not less than Rs. 6,000 to pregnant women and lactating mothers during pregnancy and six months after the child birth.
    • Meals for children upto 14 years of age.
    • Food security allowance to beneficiaries in case of non-supply of entitled foodgrains or meals.
    • Setting up of grievance redressal mechanisms at the district and state level.
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