Govt starts process to review state coverage ratios under NFSA

News

  • The government has initiated the process of ascertaining the new State/UT-specific coverage ratios for rural and urban areas under the National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA).

National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013

  • The National Food Security Act, 2013 was notified in 2013 with the objective to provide for food and nutritional security, by ensuring access to adequate quantity of quality food at affordable prices to people to live a life with dignity.
  • The act converted the then existing food security programmes of the government into legal entitlements.

Features of NFSA:

  • As of 2020, the Act provides for coverage of up to 75% of the rural population and up to 50% of the urban population for receiving subsidized food grains under Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS).
    • Thus, about two thirds of the population is covered under the Act.
  • The eligible persons are entitled to receive 5 Kgs of food grains per person per month at subsidised prices.
  • Further, the Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) households or the poorest of the poor group, receive 7 kg of subsidised food grains per person per month i.e. 35 kg of food grain/family/month.
  • In case of non-supply of entitled food grains or meals, the beneficiaries receive a food security allowance.
  • The Act also contains provisions for setting up of grievance redressal mechanism at the District and State levels.

Benefits for women and children

  • Pregnant women and lactating mothers are entitled to meals and maternity benefits of not less than Rs 6000. It is however restricted to two children only.
  • The eldest women of the household of age 18 years or above is the head of the household for the purpose of issuing ration cards.
  • Further, children up to 14 years of age are entitled to nutritious meals as per the prescribed nutritional standards.

Background – NFSA Coverage:

  • At present, NFSA covers up to 75 per cent of the rural population and 50 per cent of the urban population in the country.
  • Based on this, state-wise coverage under NFSA was determined by the erstwhile Planning Commission (replaced later by Niti Aayog) by using the National Sample Survey Household Consumption Expenditure Survey data for 2011-12.
  • Since then, the state-wise coverage ratio has not been revised.

Rural areas:

  • Currently, Manipur has the highest coverage in rural areas across the country (89 percent), followed by Jharkhand (86 per cent), Bihar (85 per cent) and Chhattisgarh (84 per cent).
  • Andaman & Nicobar Islands has the lowest coverage at 25 per cent.

Urban areas:

  • Manipur has the highest coverage in rural areas across the country (86 percent), followed by Bihar (75 per cent) and Uttar Pradesh (64 per cent) and Madhya Pradesh (63 per cent).

News Summary:

  • The government has initiated the process of ascertaining the new State/UT-specific coverage ratios for rural and urban areas under the National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA).
  • NITI Aayog recently held an exploratory meeting to discuss the state-wise cut-off for deciding the coverage under NFSA.
  • The Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation (MoSPI) is undertaking an exercise to determine the new coverage ratios.

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