Odisha, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh have secured top three positions in the state ranking index for implementation of National Food Security Act (NFSA), which was released on Tuesday.
“Overall, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh scored the highest and performed very well on all the parameters and indicators governing the implementation of NFSA,” according to the index report.
As per the ranking, Gujarat is at fourth place, followed by Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Jharkhand.
Kerala has been ranked at the 11th position, Telangana (12th), Maharashtra (13th), West Bengal (14th) and Rajasthan (15th). Punjab is at the 16th position, followed by Haryana, Delhi, Chhattisgarh and Goa.
“The index denotes only the efficiency of Targeted Public Distribution System operations, it does not reflect the level of hunger, if any or malnutrition, or both, in a particular state or union territory,” the ministry stated.
The states and Union Territories (UTs) were ranked based on three parameters.
While the first measure focused on coverage of NFSA, rightful targeting and implementation of all the provisions of food security legislation, the second parameter assessed allocation of foodgrain, transportation and last mile delivery to fair price shops. The third factor focused on nutrition initiatives of the food ministry.
Among the special category states (the Northeastern, Himalayan, and the island states), Tripura, Himachal Pradesh and Sikkim obtained the top positions, according to the index.
“Despite the logistical limitations in these areas, they displayed a high degree of accomplishment in competing with the general category states as well,” it stated.
While releasing the index, food minister Piyush Goyal said the exercise of ranking the states and UTs was commissioned by the food ministry and was carried out by a third party. “The ranking will lead to healthy competition among states under the NFSA,” he said, while stating that the food ministry will work on preparing an index for the those states who carry out procurement of foodgrains for the central pool.
Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are the major contributors to the procurement of rice and wheat carried out by Food Corporation of India and state agencies.
Under NFSA, more than 800 million people receive highly subsidised food grains — rice at Rs 3/kg, wheat at Rs 2/kg and coarse grain at Rs 1/kg monthly. These are referred to as central issue prices. Many states such as Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Tamil Nadu also further subsidise the foodgrain supplied under NFSA.