After two years of dithering, Uttar Pradesh is implementing the food security law from the New Year’s Day. While 24 districts, mostly in western UP, will roll out the scheme on Friday, the remaining 51 districts will join the bandwagon on March 1.
According to Sudhir Garg, principal secretary, Department of Food and Civil Supplies, UP, more than 15 crore of the state’s population would be covered under food security legislation. At present, around 4.5 crore people in the state get subsidised food grains under the Targeted Public Distribution System.
An estimated 82 crore people will get 5 kg each of rice, wheat and coarse grains at Rs 3, Rs 2 and Rs 1 per kg every month when the pan-India rollout of the scheme under the National Food Security Act is completed. With UP along with Sikkim joining from January 1, 25 states/UTs will be running the scheme.
A high-profile initiative of the previous UPA government, NFSA had caught global attention for its sheer scale and ambition. It was to be implemented across the country from October 2014 as per the original plan. Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, J&K and a couple of N-E states have expressed their inability to implement the Act even by March 2016.