Amendment in Food Security (Assistance To State Government Rules) 2015
In order to prevent theft of ration and related corruption in the country, recently, the Central Government has amended rule 7 of sub-rule (2) of the ‘Food Security Rules, 2015’.
The purpose of these amendments is to bring transparency and improvement in the operation of ‘Targeted Public Distribution System’ (TPDS) under the ‘National Food Security Act’.
- In order to increase transparency in the shops while weighing ration and to avoid loss to the customers, it has been encouraged to link electronic weighing machines with Electronic Point of Sale (EPOS).
- The National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013 is to ensure distribution of subsidized food grains in the right quantity to the beneficiaries as per their entitlement. This will help take forward the reform process envisaged in Section 12 of the NFSA, 2013.
- This amendment provides incentives to the states which are efficiently using the ‘Electronic Point of Sale (ePoS)’ and encourages other states to save and improve the efficiency of ePoS operations.
- According to the amendment, states that are operating their ePoS devices judiciously and are able to generate savings from the additional margin of Rs 17 per quintal can now utilise the savings for purchase, operations and maintenance of electronic weighing scales and their integration with the point of sale devices.
Electronic Point of Sale (ePoS)
It is to be noted that the distribution through ‘ePoS’ devices ensures that the correct beneficiary can be identified with the help of biometrics and they get ration at a subsidized rate. At the same time, by connecting the ‘ePoS’ devices with electronic scales, it will be ensured that the beneficiary is getting the right quantity of food grains.
National Food Security Act -NFSA, 2013:
The objective of NFSA, 2013 is to provide life security to human beings by providing good quality food grains at very affordable prices to the people to lead a dignified life.
Salient Features of the Act:
- Eligibility of Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS): 75 percent of rural population and 50 percent of urban population will be covered under TPDS with a pay of five kilograms per person per month.
- However, the entitlement of 35 kg per family per month of the poor families covered under the existing ‘Antyoday Anna Yojana’ will be ensured.
Subsidised prices under TPDS and their revision: For a period of three years from the date of commencement of the Act, Food grains under TPDS will be made available at subsidised prices of Rs. 3/2/1 per kg for rice, wheat and coarse grains.
Identification of households:
- Eligible households are to be identified by the States/UTs under the prescribed TDPS for each State.
- Nutritional support for women and children: Under this scheme, pregnant women and lactating women and children in the age group of 6 months to fourteen years are will be entitled to food, under the ‘Integrated Child Development Services’ (ICDS) and ‘Mid-day Meal’ schemes, as per the prescribed nutritional norms.
- Maternity Benefit: Under this scheme lactating mothers and pregnant women will also be given a maternity benefit of Rs 6,
Women Empowerment: Under this scheme, a woman of the age of 18 years or above in the family will be considered as the head of the family, and ration card will be issued in her name.
Grievance Redressal Mechanism: Grievance Redressal Mechanism will be made available at the District and State level for complaints regarding any matter related to this.
Source – PIB