Delhi : With the implementation of National Food Security Act in Karnataka and Chhattisgarh also, the National Food Security Act has taken off now in seven states/ UTs- Haryana, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Punjab, Karnataka and Chhattisgarh . The Government of India has made foodgrain allocations to these States/UTs as per requirements projected by them for the implementation of the Act. Uttrakhand and Chandigarh are also expected to join this group soon.
The people as identified beneficiaries by the State Governments will now get foodgrains at highly subsidized prices of Rs. 3/2/1 per kg for rice, wheat and coarse grains. Each beneficiary will get five Kg. foodgrain per month. However, existing entitlement of Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) households’ which is 35 kg. of per household per month will be protected, since AAY constitute poorest of the poor.
The Center has also decided to protect existing allocation of each state in case the allocation under the proposed legislation is lower than its current allocation. It will be protected upto the level of average offtake during last three years, at prices to be determined by the Central Government.
With the implementation of the Act now pregnant women and lactating mothers and children in the age group of 6 months to 14 years will be entitled to meals as per prescribed nutritional norms under Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) and Mid-Day Meal (MDM) schemes. Higher nutritional norms have been prescribed for malnourished children upto 6 years of age. Beside this pregnant women and lactating mothers will also be entitled to receive maternity benefit of not less than Rs. 6,000.
The Act will also give significant contribution in the women empowerment in the country with its provision of declaring eldest woman of the household of age 18 years or above as the head of the household for the purpose of issuing of ration cards.
The Government has notified the National Food Security Act, 2013 on September10, 2013 to further strengthen the efforts to address the food security of the people. The Act provides for coverage of upto 75% of the rural population and upto 50% of the urban population for receiving subsidized foodgrains under Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS), thus covering about two-thirds of the population. The Act also has a special focus on the nutritional support to women and children.