80 cr people will be covered under food security law

Kerala and Tamil Nadu implement act from Nov 1
Last Updated : 03 November 2016, 19:50 IST
Last Updated : 03 November 2016, 19:50 IST

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With Kerala and Tamil Nadu falling in line, the Centre on Thursday announced full implementation of the national food security law, which provides highly subsidised foodgrain to 80 crore people.

Kerala and Tamil Nadu began implementation of the National Food Security Act (NFSA) from November 1, after the Centre threatened to charge higher MSP (minimum support price) rates for foodgrain allocated to the two states under the above poverty line (APL) category.

Had they failed to implement NFSA, Kerala and Tamil Nadu would have got rice at nearly three times the rate fixed for allocations under the APL category.

The two states argued that they had better public distribution networks than the NFSA and were keen to continue the same. They will continue to get their present allocation of foodgrain at the NFSA rates, ranging from Rs 1-3 per kg.

“Kerala will continue to get its allotted 14 lakh tonnes of foodgrain and Tamil Nadu will continue to get 36 lakh tonnes at the NFSA rates,” Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan told reporters here.

Under the law, the government provides 5 kg of foodgrain per person, per month at Rs 1-3 per kg. Wheat is being supplied at Rs 2 a kilo and rice at Rs 3 per kilo.

The NFSA will entail an annual financial outgo of Rs 1.4 lakh crore, he said.
Paswan also warned state governments to refrain from taking credit for the initiative as the subsidised foodgrain were being distributed under a Central law.

The Centre has digitised the entire beneficiary database in all the 36 states and Union Territories, Paswan said.

He said the next target for the government was automation of fair price shops for distribution of food grains through an electronic point of sale device that would authenticate beneficiaries at the time of distribution.

Paswan said so far 71% of the ration cards have been linked with Aadhaar and the rest would be done at the earliest.

“This has resulted in the deletion of about 2.62 crore bogus ration cards,” he said.

Published 03 November 2016, 19:50 IST

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