Ram Vilas Paswan on Thursday told ET Now that National Food Security Act has been implemented across states from November 1. “Food Security Act has been implemented across India from November 1.” According to ET Now, Paswan said “the government would spend Rs 1.4 lakh crore per year on food subsidy and subsidised food grain will be sold to 80 crore people.” The food welfare programme, introduced by the previous Congress-led government, will cover 50 percent of urban and 75 percent of rural areas. Under this Act, beneficiaries will get wheat at Rs 2/kilogram and rice at Rs 3/kilogram. Tamil Nadu, the last state to give its nod for the central Act, on Tuesday commenced implementation of the legislation aimed at providing highly subsidised foodgrain to at least one-third of the country’s population.
Although the Act was to be implemented within a year after its passage in Parliament in September 2013, many states did not role out the legislation citing time taken for scrutinising the beneficiaries’ list. Kerala recently rolled out the food security Act which now covers around 80 crore people across the country. Food ministry officials said the government would now focus on expanding PDS reforms which have been patchy across the states.
Recently, the food ministry also informed those states not implementing the food security legislation that the Centre will supply foodgrain to these states at minimum support price (MSP) derived prices instead of highly subsidised NFSA prices of R3, R2 and R1 for per kg for rice, wheat and coarse grains, respectively.
(With input from Reuters)