Today’s edition of our Current Affairs will comprise a discussion on New Changes in the National Food Security Act, (NFSA) 2013. Read further to upgrade your UPSC CSE knowledge and also understand the topic’s relevance to the UPSC syllabus.
For Prelims: Current events of National and International Importance
National Food Security Act, Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana.
For Mains: GS II- Government Policies and Interventions; GS III- Indian Economy and Related Issues
National Food and Security Act, 2013, Buffer Stocks & Food Security.
National Food Security Act, 2013, beneficiaries would receive free food grains from the Union government for a year starting in January 2023, as per their entitlement. However, it has ceased offering the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana, which was introduced in April 2020 under COVID-19.
Discuss the significance of PMGKY(PM Garib Kalyan Yogna) in the fight against Covid-19 in the field of food security. (150 words, 10 marks)
About new changes in NFSA
- The recipients will now receive 35 kilogrammes of foodgrains free for the following year, and others will receive 5 kg free each month until December 2023.
- The additional funding for the programme has been projected by the Union government at Rs 2 lakh crore. The Union Government would be responsible for paying the entire cost of the programme.
Significance of the changes in NFSA
- The discontinuation of PMGKAY happens since the supply of food grains has been running out in recent months.
- The decision lessens the impact of PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana's impending termination by the end of the month on the poor.
About National Food Security Act
- Under the NFSA, the Union government offers food grains (rice at Rs. 3 per kg, wheat at Rs. 2 per kg, and coarse grains at Rs. 1 per kg).
- By guaranteeing access to sufficient, high-quality food at affordable rates, the legislation seeks to safeguard people's food and nutritional security.
- Coverage: The NFSA covers 75% of the population in rural areas and 50% of the population in urban areas.
- Two categories of beneficiary households are:
Antyoday Anna Yojana (AAY): Regardless of the number of family members, AAY households are entitled to 35 kg of food every month.
Priority Households: Depending on the size of their family, priority households receive food grains (each member 5 kg per month).
- Meals and maternity benefits for expectant mothers and nursing mothers that total at least Rs. 6,000 during pregnancy and the first six months following childbirth.
- Children in the age group of 6-14 years would also be entitled to free nutritious meals under the Mid Day Meal and ICDS schemes.
- Beneficiaries receive a food security allowance if their meals or food grains are not provided as required.
- Creating state and district-level channels for handling complaints.
About Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PM-GKAY)
- During the Covid-19 epidemic in March 2020, the Central Government introduced the PM-GKAY welfare programme for food security.
- The Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package (PMGKP) includes it as a component to aid the underprivileged in their fight against COVID-19.
- Goal: To feed India's poorest residents by distributing grain to all of the priority families through the Public Distribution System (ration card holders and those identified by the Antyodaya Anna Yojana scheme).
- Antyodaya Anna Yojana, an initiative sponsored by the government and introduced in 2000, aims to feed millions of the world's poorest households with heavily discounted food.
- Implementing Agency: Department of Food and Public Distribution, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution
- Nodal ministry: Ministry of Finance.
- 5 kg of free wheat or rice are given to more than 80 crore recipients each month.
- This is in addition to the 5 kg of food grains that the National Food Security Act of 2013's beneficiaries already receive.
- It is regarded as the world's largest programme for food security.
News Source: The Hindu
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