All about NITI Aayog's proposal to revise National Food Security Act 2013
Why in News?
The NITI Aayog has recently proposed to revise the National Food Security Act 2013. It circulated a discussion paper for the same. Take a look at the move's implications and details of NFSA 2013 below.
Revised National Food Security Act 2013: What has happened?
The NITI Aayog has proposed the revision of beneficiaries in accordance with the latest population. It is currently being done through Census 2011.
It has recommended the reduction in rural and urban coverage under National Food Security Act 2013.
National Food Security Act 2013: Key Facts
- Antyodaya Anna Yojana has almost 2.37 crore households registered. This means more than 9.01 crore persons are registered
- The priority households among these are 70.35 crore people.
- It assures 5 Kgs of foodgrains per person per month at Rs. 3 per Kg of rice, Rs 2 per Kg of wheat and Re 1 per Kg of coarse grains.
- As per the existing AAY, the household continues to receive 35 Kgs of foodgrains per month.
- The Act ensures meals and maternity benefits of minimum Rs 6,000 for pregnant women and lactating mothers. The benefits may continue after six months of the child birth.
- Food security allowance is given to the beneficiaries in case of non-supply of entitled foodgrains.
- The Act ensures meals for children aged upto 14 years
- A grievance redressal mechanism is to be set up as per the Act, at district and state level.
- In case the rural- urban population ratio for coverage remains the same, almost 9 crore people would increase to be benefitted. The Act enables 67% of the p[opulation to receive the benefit.
- An additional subsidy of 14,800 crore would be required for this situation.
- In case the recommendation of revising the coverage ratio to 60:40 is used, the number of eligible individuals would come down to 71.62 crores.
The beneficiaries who would be excluded after years of availing benefits would oppose. The Department of Food and Public Distribution has asked NITI Aayog to come up with alternative means by which the Act can cover such beneficiaries.
The pandemic has already hot the people hard which is why now changing the ratio would cause a double burden on many households.
Economic Survey- 2020-21 earlier recommended to revise the Central Issue Prices (CIP) of foodgrains released from the central pool.
Also the HLC (High Level Committee) under Shanta Kumar had recommended reducing the coverage ratio from 67% of the population to 40%.
The government should also frame out a detailed plan to examine the suggestions of NITI Aayog, considering the number of households that depend on food grains for their survival.