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The National Food Security Bill 2013

Summary: The National Food Security Bill 2013 :The Food Security Bill 2013 was passed in the Parliament after a long debate and voting. After Mrs. Sonia Gandhi left due to illness, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Home Minister Susheel Kumar Shinde attended through the process till the bill was passed. 

It is an “Empowerment Revolution” said Mrs. Sonia Gandhi in her speech earlier in the Parliament.
Following is the Summary for The National Food Security Bill 2013.
Summary of the National Food Security Bill
1. Preliminaries:
The Bill seeks for “providing food and nutrition security in human life-cycle by ensuring adequate quality and quantity of food at affordable prices”.
It will extend to the entire Nation. The roll out date for the plan may differ from state to state.
2. Entitlements:
Public Distribution System (TPDS)For every person 5kg of food grains
Antyodaya households 35 Kgs of food grains 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”.
Prices:
Rice at Rs. 3 per Kg
Wheat at Rs. 2 per Kg
Millets or Coarse Grains at Rs. 1 per Kg
The prices may be revised after three years.
Children’s Entitlements
For children below six months, “exclusive breastfeeding shall be promoted”.
For children from age 6 month to 6 Years, the Bill guarantees an age-appropriate meal, free of charge, through the local anganwadi.
For children aged 6-14 years, mid-day meal shall be provided everyday in all schools run by local bodies, government and government aided schools, up to Class VIII.

Children suffering from malnutrition will be identified with the help of local anganwadi and meals will be provided to them free of charge through them.
Entitlements of Pregnant and Lactating WomenEvery pregnant and lactating mother is entitled to get a free meal from local anganwadi (during pregnancy and six months after child birth)
Maternity benefits of Rs 6,000 in instalments.
3. Identification of Eligible Households: The number of eligible person will be calculated with the help of Census population figure.
The identification of eligible households will be done by state governments based on scheme’s guidelines for Antyodaya.
The lists of eligible households are to be placed in the public domain by the state government.
4. Food Commissions:A State Food Commission would be created. It would consist of a Chairperson with five other members and a member secretary (including at least two women).
Main function of this commission will be to monitor and evaluate the implementation of the act as well as advising the State Governments.
The Commissions would also hear appeals against orders of the District Grievance Redressal Officer and prepare annual reports to be laid before the state legislature.
5. Transparency and Grievance Redressal: 
The Bill provides a two-tier grievance redressal structure:
District Grievance Redressal Officer (DGRO)
State Food Commission.
Transparency ProvisionsMandatory transparency provisions in the bill include:
(1) placing all PDS-related records in the public domain
(2) periodic social audits of the PDS and other welfare schemes
(3) End-to-End computerisation of the PDS
(4) setting up vigilance committees at state, district, block and fair price shop levels to supervise all schemes under the act.
District Grievance Redressal OfficersDGROS shall be appointed by state governments for each district
Penalties and CompensationThe Commissions will be having powers to impose penalties. If an order of the DGRO is not complied with, the concerned authority or officer can be fined up to Rs. 5,000.
If there is a non-availability of supplies, the persons would be granted a food security allowance by the State government.
6. Other Provisions
PDS Reforms
Several pointers have been given for PDS reforms such as:
  • doorstep delivery of food grains
  • ICT applications and end-to-end computerisation
  • “aadhaar” (UID) for identification of entitled beneficiaries
  • full transparency of records
  • preference to public institutions or bodies in licensing of fair price shops
  • management of fair price shops by women or their collectives
  • “introducing schemes such as cash transfer, food coupons or other schemes to the targeted beneficiaries in lieu of their food grain entitlements” as prescribed by the central government.
Obligations of Government and Local Authorities
The main obligation for the Central Government is:
  • provide food grains to state governments, at prescribedd prices.
  • provide assistance to state governments to meet local distribution costs.

The main obligation for the state governments is:
  • implementation of schemes
  • State governments also have wide-ranging powers to make Rules.
  • States can extend benefits and entitlements to a wider population from their own resources.
Local Authorities and Panchayati Raj Institutions will be responsible for proper implementation of the act in their respective areas
7. SchedulesThe Bill has three schedules:
Schedule 1:  prescribes issue prices for the PDS
Schedule 2: prescribes “nutritional standards” for midday meals, take-home rations and related entitlements.
Schedule 3: lists various provisions for advancing food security under three broad headings:
(1) revitalization of agriculture (e.g. agrarian reforms, research and development, remunerative prices),
(2) procurement, storage and movement of food grains (e.g. decentralised procurement), and
(3) other provisions (e.g. drinking water, sanitation, health care, and “adequate pensions” for “senior citizens, persons with disability and single women”).
TAGS:The National Food Security Bill 2013, latest bills in india parliament,  food security bills 2013, Food Security Bill - A poll gimmick or anti hunger action plan., 

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