The Union Government of India on 25 August 2013 announced that an estimated 614.3 lakh tonnes of food grains would be required to ensure successful implementation of the proposed Food Security Act (FSA) as against the existing requirement of 563.7 lakh tonnes for Targeted Public Distribution System.
The Government has also stated that the procurement will be done after ensuring that the farmers get more for their produce. The current MSP (Minimum Support Price) decided for wheat is 12.85 rupees per kilogram. For paddy the MSP has been decided at 12.50 rupees per kilogram. The Government has also announced that for proper implementation of the Food Security Act, procurement operations would be further extended.
The implementation of the proposed act will ensure food grains at highly subsidized prices to about 75 percent of village population. This Act will allow the Government to provide wheat available at 2 rupees per kilogram and rice at the rate of 3 rupees per kilogram.
Access to highly subsidized food grains to small farmers under proposed Food Security Act and assured MSP for their produce will ease the burden on their earnings and allow them the option to spend the money so saved on other necessities. Hence it will help to improve their quality of life. Therefore, contrary to dissuading farmers from producing more, the Act will in fact encourage them to produce more.
Benefits of the Act
The Act will benefit about two-third of Indian Population by making them legally entitled to get highly subsidized food grains. Every person entitled under the act would receive 5 kg of food grains per month i.e. wheat or coarse grains at 3 rupees, 2 rupees and 1 rupees per kg respectively.
The act has also retained the availability of 35 kilograms of food grains per household to the poorest or the poor under AAY scheme.
The bill has provision of making the eldest women of the household above 18 years of age to be the head of the household and the ration cards would be issued by her name. The bill has marked that the children below 14 years of age would be entitled for higher nutritional norms. Pregnant women and lactating mothers will get maternity benefit of Rs. 6000 besides nutritious food.
When: 25 August 2013