Context: Government of India has directed Food Corporation of India (FCI) to provide 5 kg food grains per person per month for 3 months.
- The rates have been decided as Rs. 21/Kg for wheat and Rs. 22/Kg for rice uniformly across the country to all beneficiaries not covered under NFSA.
More about the news:
- The ration would be distributed to whom ration cards have been issued by state governments under their schemes.
- Aim of such move: Provided access to adequate food grains at reasonable prices during pandemic.
- States have been given the option to lift these stocks in one go or on a monthly basis over 3 months upto June 2020.
- Directions to FCI:
- To support the NGOs/Charitable organizations involved in relief operations.
- To provide wheat @Rs. 21/Kg and Rice @22/Kg uniformly across the country to all such organizations without any upper limit on quantity.
New milestones and FCI preparedness
- FCI to move food grain stocks across the country to feed the largest Food Security system in the world covering more than 81 crore people through 5.3 Lakh Fair Price Shops (FPS).
- The agency transported 77 rakes carrying about 2.16 Lakh MT. With this, the total food grain stocks transported by FCI since lock down is nearing 2.5 Million Metric Tonnes.
- Under the PM Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana (PMGKAY), a total of 12.1 MMT of food grains are being supplied to 81 crore people in 3 months @5 Kg per person.
- Plans have been worked out to move boiled rice from Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Odisha as these states contribute maximum boiled rice to the national pool.
- FCI is carrying out procurement of rice in states like Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Odisha, Chhattisgarh etc.
- It is also gearing up to start acceptance of wheat of winter crop in major procuring states like Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, UP, Rajasthan etc.
- With the anticipated procurement of about 40 MMT Wheat and 9 MMT Rice during Rabi season, the food grain stocks in the national pool will be fully replenished ensuring that there is no threat to the Food Security of the country.
About NFSA, 2013
- National Food Security Act, 2013 came into being with the objective to provide for food and nutritional security in human life cycle approach, by ensuring access to adequate quantity of quality food at affordable prices to people to live a life with dignity.
- It converts entitlements of existing food security programmes of the Central Government including the Midday Meal Scheme, Integrated Child development scheme and PDS into legal entitlements.
- The NFSA aims to provide subsidized food grains to approximately two thirds (67%) of the population (75% in rural areas and 50% in urban areas; 81.31 cr beneficiaries).
- The head of every eligible household shall be a woman(18 years of age or above) for the purpose of issuance under this act.
- Grains like wheat, rice and coarse grain will be distributed at the subsidized price of Rs. 3, Rs. 2 and Rs. 1 and uniform entitlement of 5 kg per person per month is provided.
- Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) (poorest of the poor) households will be protected at 35 kg per household per month.
Nutritional support to Women and Children
- Pregnant women and lactating mothers and children are entitled to get meals under the prescribed nutrition by MDM and ICDS.
- Pregnant women and lactating mothers will be entitled to get maternity benefit of Rs.6000.
- NFSA 2013 will provide high nutrition food to children from the age group of 6 months to 14 years.
Bodies under NFSA
- Under NFSA, there is no provision for any Commission at the national level or District level. The Act provides for a State Food Commission (SFC) in every State/UT, for the purpose of monitoring and review of implementation of the Act.
A paradigm shift -Right based approach
- The act also provides for the payment of food security allowance to entitled persons by State Government in case of non-supply of entitled quantities of foodgrains, within such time and manner as may be prescribed by the Central Government. Accordingly, the Government has notified the Food Security Allowance Rules, 2015.
Mid day meal scheme
- Mid-Day Meal Scheme (MDMS), is a Centrally-Sponsored Scheme which covers all school children
studying in Classes I-VIII of Government, Government-Aided Schools,Special Training Centres (STC) and Madrasas and Maktabs supported under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan
- To enhance the enrollment, retention, and attendance and simultaneously improve nutritional levels among school going children.
Current Provisions in MDM
- The scheme guidelines envisage to provide cooked mid-day meal with 450 calories and 12 g of protein to every child at primary level and 700 calories and 20 g of protein at upper primary level.
- Free supply of food grains @ 100 grams per child per school day at Primary and @ 150 grams per child per school day at Upper Primary.
- Annual increase in cooking cost linked to Inflation Index. This will offset the impact of inflation on the food items under the Mid-Day Meal Scheme.
- Subsidy for transportation of food grains is provided to 11 special category states at PDS rate prevalent in these states.
Public Distribution System
- The Public distribution system (PDS) is an Indian food Security System for the poor people
- established by the Government of India under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food, and Public
- PDS aims to provide subsidised food and fuel to the poor through a network of Fair Price Shops
- Food grains such as rice and wheat that are provided under TPDS are procured from farmers, allocated to states and delivered to the ration shop where the beneficiary buys his entitlement.
Integrated child Development scheme
- The Integrated Child Development Service (ICDS) Scheme providing for supplementary nutrition, immunization and pre-school education to the children is a popular flagship programme of the government.
- Launched in 1975, it is one of the world’s largest programmes providing for an integrated package of services for the holistic development of the child.
- ICDS is a centrally sponsored scheme implemented by state governments and union territories. The scheme is universal covering all the districts of the country.
- To improve the nutritional and health status of children in the age-group 0-6 years;
- To lay the foundation for proper psychological, physical and social development of the child;
- To reduce the incidence of mortality, morbidity, malnutrition and school dropout;
- To achieve effective coordination of policy and implementation amongst the various departments to promote child development; and
- To enhance the capability of the mother to look after the normal health and nutritional needs of the child through proper nutrition and health education.
- Children in the age group of 0-6 years
- Pregnant women and
- Lactating mothers
Three of the six services viz. immunization, health check-up and referral services are related to health and are provided through National Health Mission and Public Health Infrastructure. The services are offered at Anganwadi Centres through Anganwadi Workers (AWWs) and Anganwadi Helpers (AWHS) at grassroots level.
Food Corporation of India
- FCI was set up under the Food Corporations Act 1964, in order to fulfil following objectives of the Food Policy.
- Effective price support operations for safeguarding the interests of the farmers.
- Distribution of food grains throughout the country for the public distribution system.
- Maintaining satisfactory level of operational and buffer stocks of food grains to ensure National Food Security.
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