Kerala, UP, TN fail to implement NFSA
The deadline for the implementation of the National Food Security Act was 30 September 2015. Kerala, UP and Tamil Nadu, among other states, cannot even implement it by December 2015, after which these states have to buy food grains at the minimum support price (MSP). MSP is almost thrice the current rate at which Public Distribution System (PDS) food grains are supplied to states.
The National Food Security Act (NFSA) promulgated on 5 July 2013, seeks to make the right to food and nutritional security a legal right by providing specific food entitlements to certain groups. Beneficiaries are selected by each state.
The Odisha government has planned to implement the National Food Security Act in 14 districts from 1 November 2015. CM Naveen Patnaik is set to distribute digital ration cards to NFSA beneficiaries at a function in Bhubaneshwar on 2nd October 2015. 15 ministers have been asked to attend ration-card distributions in the districts. 3.26 crore of the 4.21 crore population will fall under NFSA.
The NFSA categorises the population into 3 groups - an extremely poor group (Antyodaya Anna Yojana), a priority group and an excluded category. NFSA doesn't provide entitlements to destitute, homeless persons, but pregnant women and children are beneficiaries.
The Jharkhand government officially announced the implementation of the NFSA in the state on 26 September 2015. 86.48% of Jharkhand's rural population and 60.20% of its urban population are beneficiaries of the NFSA, enabling 51 lakh families to get ration facilities. The list of beneficiaries has not been finalised and will be updated regularly, according to Saryu Rai, Minister of Food and Civil Supplies.
The extremely poor or the AAY group is entitled to 35kg of foodgrain/family/month, while the priority group is entitled to 5kg foodgrain/person/month at subsidised rates of Rs.3/kg for rice, Rs.2/kg for wheat and Rs.1/kg for coarse grains.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Jayalalitha urged Modi to extend the deadline for the implementation of the Food Security Act by a year. "We have taken up the process of end-to-end computerization of the PDS, cleaning up the family card database and the process of seeding the family card database with Aadhaar numbers," Jayalalitha said, describing the 30 September 2015 deadline as "unrealistic".
As per a July 2015 meeting of state food ministers, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Himachal Pradesh and Lakshadweep agreed to meet the deadline, while Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Jammu and Kashmir, Gujarat, and Uttar Pradesh sought an extension.
As of July 2015, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, and Rajasthan had implemented NFSA fully, while Bihar, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh and West Bengal had implemented it partially in certain areas or districts.