Salient features of food bill

December 22nd, 2011 - 9:57 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 22 (IANS) The National Food Security Bill, 2011 introduced in the Lok Sabha Thursday has ambitious provisions to ensure access to adequate quantity of food to India’s 1.2 billion people at affordable prices. Its salient features are:

- Food and nutritional security, in human life cycle approach, by ensuring access to adequate quantity of quality food at affordable prices.

- Every person belonging to priority households to receive seven kg of foodgrain every month from the state government under the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) at price not exceeding Rs.3 per kg for rice, Rs.2 for wheat and Re.1 for coarse grains.

- General households to get not less than three kg foodgrain per person per month at subsidised price not exceeding 50 percent of the minimum support price for wheat and coarse grain and not exceed 50 percent of derived minimum support price for rice.

- Entitlement at subsidised price to extend up to 75 percent of rural population and up to 50 percent of the urban population with not less than 46 percent of the rural and 28 percent of the urban population being designated as priority households.

- Every pregnant woman and lactating mother entitled to meal, free of charge, during pregnancy and six months after child birth through the local anganwadis so as to meet the nutritional standards.

- Children up to age of 14 years entitled to free of charge meal through local anganwadis and one mid-day meal everyday in all government-aided schools.

- Provide meals through anganwadis to children who suffer malnutrition. Destitute people to get at least one meal every day. The homeless to get affordable meals at community kitchens.

- Eligible people to receive food security allowance in case of non-supply of the entitled quantities of foodgrain or meals within the time and manner prescribed by the central government.

- The central government to prescribe the guidelines for identification of priority, general households and exclusion criteria for the purpose of their entitlement.

- Identification of priority households and general households by the state government or such other agency as may be decided by the central government.

- Progressively undertake necessary reforms in the TPDS by the central and state governments.

- Eldest woman, not less than 18 years of age, to be treated as head of family for purpose of issuing ration cards.

- Obligation on the central and state governments to put in place an internal grievance redressal mechanism.

- Food commission to be constituted by every state government.

- Penalty on any public servant or authority found guilty by the state or national food commission.

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