Adding Tamil Nadu and Kerala onboard, the implementation of National Food Security law extends to the entire nation from this month.
It has been reported that as many as 80 crore people are covered under this law across 36 states and Union Territories. “When we came to power, food law was being implemented in only 11 states. I am happy to share that National Food Security law is being implemented in all states and union territories,” Ram Vilas Paswan, Food Minister said at a press conference in New Delhi.
The National Food Security law, passed in Parliament in 2013, entails an annual subsidy of over Rs. 1.4 lakh crore under which, the government provides 5 kg of highly subsidised foodgrains per person, per month at Rs. 1-3 per kg.
Only two big states Kerala and Tamil Nadu were left, and they too have implemented it from November, he informed.
He reiterated that the government is prepared for the important step, he said “Foodgrains have been allocated. Under this law 80 crore people are being covered.” The food welfare programme will cover 50 percent of urban and 75 percent of rural areas. Under this Act, beneficiaries will get wheat at Rs 2/kilogram and rice at Rs 3/kilogram.
Although the Act was to be implemented within a year after its passage in Parliament in September 2013, many states did not role out the legislation citing time taken for scrutinising the beneficiaries’ list. Food ministry officials said the government would now focus on expanding PDS reforms which have been patchy across the states.
Recently, the food ministry also informed those states not implementing the food security legislation that the Centre will supply foodgrain to these states at minimum support price (MSP) derived prices instead of highly subsidised NFSA prices of R3, R2 and R1 for per kg for rice, wheat and coarse grains, respectively.