Food Security Act to cover 16 more states soon: Paswan

Kolkata : By the end of June, at least 16 more states in the country will be brought under the National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA) which will entitle them to a host of benefits including reduced foodgrains pricing, a union minister said here on Friday.

“Presently only 11 states are within the ambit of the NFSA and by May-June, I am confident that it will be implemented in at least 90 percent of the remaining states,” union Minister of Consumer Protection, Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan told media persons here.

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“There are many requirements for the states to qualify for the NFSA of which many provisions may vary from state to state. However, the public distribution system (PDS) has to be computerised,” he said.

The minister said the states are required to digitise all the names of the eligible beneficiaries of various incentive schemes and put it up online.

“Each depot names and the details should be made available online,” he said.

Paswan said that once the act is implemented in the states, the prices of subsidised foodgrains will come down further.

As per the provision of the Act, rice is priced at Rs.3 per kg, wheat at Rs.2 every kg while coarse grains, inclusive of millets, will be priced at Re.1 per kg — much below the current subsidised rates.

“We are also ensuring that dealers who distribute the foodgrains earn at least Rs.10,000 a month”, he said.

The NFSA ensures foodgrains to the poor at very low prices.