The National Food Security Bill was passed by the parliament in 2013. As per the provisions of the Bill, it is proposed to provide 7 kg. of food grains per person per month belonging to priority households at prices not exceeding Rs. 3 per kg of rice, Rs. 2 per kg of wheat, and Rs. 1 per kg of coarse grains and to general households not less than 3 kg of food grains per person per month . It will benefit up to 75 per cent of rural population.
Important Features of Food Security Bill:
The Bill seeks “to provide food and nutritional security in human life cycle approach, by ensuring access to adequate quantity of quality food at affordable prices to people to live a life with dignity”.
I. Seventy five percent of rural and fifty percent of the urban population entitled to five kg foodgrains per month at Rs 3, Rs 2, Rs. 1 per kg for rice, wheat and coarse grains, respectively.
II. Priority households (under Antyodaya Anna Yojna) are entitled to get 35 kgs per household per month. The combined coverage of Priority and Antyodaya households (called “eligible households”) shall extend “up to 75% of the rural population and up to 50% of the urban population.
III. For the children in the age bracket of 6 months to 6 years, the bill promise to get give age specific food, free of cost through the local Aganwadi.
IV. For children between 6 to 14 years one free mid day meal shall be given every day in all schools run by local bodies.
V. Children who are suffering from malnutrition will be recognized through local Aganwadi and shall be given adequate diet to become healthy.
VI. Every pregnant and lactating mother will get a free meal at the nearest Aganwadi (during pregnancy and after child birth) along with maternity benefits of Rs. 6000 in installments.
VII. The bill does not specify the criteria for selecting the beneficiaries eligible for PDS entitlements; this task is left for the respective state governments.
VIII. The Bill provides for the creation of State Food Commissions. Each Commission shall consist of a chairperson, five other members, a member secretary (including at least two women and one member each from schedule caste and schedule tribe).
IX. The bill also has a two tier grievance redressal body, involving a grievance redressal officer (DGRO) and state food commission.
This is very crucial law made by the government to ensure the food security of the 75% population of the country. It will not only help in checking the number of malnutrition children but also improve the health of child below five years and lactating & pregnant mothers in the whole country. The total cost of implementation of this whole project will be around 1.24 lac cr.