Madhya Pradesh Government constitutes Food Commission

The state government of Madhya Pradesh on 21 July 2017 appointed a four-member food commission headed by IAS (retd.) Rajkishore Swain. The commission was appointed in accordance with the National Food Security Act (NFSA) 2013.

The commission will be responsible for monitoring implementation of the provisions of the National Food Security Act 2013 in the state. It will be responsible for monitoring

• Distribution of the food grains under Public Distribution System (PDS).

• Implementation of the Midday Meal Scheme and Integrated Child Development Services scheme in the state.

• For distribution of food items that are provided under maternity entitlements to women.

• It will also look into the grievances (related to profits) of the stakeholders of the project.

Besides, the commission will also be looking after complaints, which were heard by the collector of the district.

In addition, the commission will also recommend changes (if any) to the state government for better implementation of NFSA in the state.

Other members of the commission include Durga Dawar, Kishore Khandelwal and Rajeev Chandra Dubey. Dubey will be acting as the secretary of the commission.

Background

The state has constituted the food commission after it was pulled up by the Supreme Court earlier in 2017.

The Supreme Court of India on 26 April 2017 pulled Madhya Pradesh along with Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Karnataka for not appointing state food commissions or not making them operational.

The two-judge bench of Justice MB Lokur and Justice NV Ramana directed that the state food commissions should be appointed as per the provisions of the National Food Security Act (NFSA). It pulled up Madhya Pradesh government for not appointing the members of the commission. The state in its reply said, “the state is following a new procedure for selecting members by way of advertisements”.

National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA 2013)

The National Food Security Act, 2013 also known as Right to Food Act is an Act of the Parliament of India, which aims to provide subsidised food grains to approximately two-thirds of India's 1.2 billion people. It was signed into law on 12 September 2013, retroactive to 5 July 2013.

NFSA 2013 converts existing food security programme of the Union Government into legal entitlement. These entitlements include the Midday Meal Scheme, Integrated Child Development Services scheme, and the Public Distribution System as a well as maternity entitlement.

Under the provisions of the Act, beneficiaries of the Public Distribution System (PDS) are entitled to 5 kilogrammes per person per month of cereals at the following prices:

• Rice at Rs3 per kg

• Wheat at Rs2 per kg

• Coarse grains (millet) at Rs 1 per kg.

Pregnant women, lactating mothers, and certain categories of children are eligible for daily free cereals.

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