Drawing flak from the CAG for delay in implementing the National Food Security Act (NFSA), the government today asserted that the law has been rolled out in 33 states/UTs with subsidised foodgrains being provided to 72.45 crore beneficiaries.
The Comptroller and Auditor General, which evaluated preparedness of 18 states/UTs for implementation of the law in its audit report released today, blamed the Centre for delay in implementation of the NFSA and extending its rollout thrice without Parliament approval.
“As on April 1, 33 states/UTs are implementing NFSA and subsidised foodgrains are being provided to 72.45 crore beneficiaries (approximately 14.8 crore households),” the Food Ministry said in a statement.
The remaining states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Nagaland are also in an advanced stage of preparation, it said.
Tamil Nadu and Kerala are presently in election mode and a decision to implement NFSA will be possible only after the elections are over. Nagaland is expected to roll out NFSA from July 2016, it added.
Highlighting measures taken to reform Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS), the Ministry said ration card have been digitised 100 per cent and their details have been made available on PDS portal in all states.
Foodgrains are being allocated online in 25 states/UTs, supply chain of foodgrains has been computerised in 12 states/UTs, while online grievance redressal facility has been set up in 27 states/UTs and toll free number in 35 states/UTs, it added.
State food commission has been set up in 30 states/UTs, while district greivance redressal officer been designated in 32 states/UTs, the statement added.
On storage, the Ministry said that the requirement during peak procurement is around 60 million tonnes, against which state-owned Food Corporation of India (FCI) and state agencies have a storage capacity of 81.48 million tonnes at present.
New covered storage capacity of 13.37 million tonnes has been created in Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode under Private Entrepreneurs Guarantee (PEG) scheme at various locations in 20 states.
In addition, new godowns are being constructed using the Plan funds with focus on the North Eastern states. Scientific storage facilities “silos” are also being created, the statement added.
NFSA, which came into force from July 5, 2013, aims to provide foodgrains to 81.34 crore beneficiaries at highly subsidised rate of Rs 1-3 per kg. The law seeks to bring about changes in PDS that suffered from several deficiencies.