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Centre Rolls Out New Integrated Food Security Scheme To Provide Free Foodgrains

Under the scheme, the government will provide free foodgrains to all NFSA beneficiaries for one year through the wide network of 5.33 lakh fair price shops across the country

Centre Rolls Out New Integrated Food Security Scheme To Provide Free Foodgrains
A new integrated food security scheme will provide free foodgrains to 81.35 crore beneficiaries under NFSA for the year 2023

New Delhi: The Centre launched a new integrated food security scheme on Sunday (January 1). The scheme will provide free foodgrains to 81.35 crore beneficiaries under NFSA for the year 2023 and aims to ensure effective and uniform implementation of the National Food Security Act (NFSA). The Cabinet decided to launch a new central sector scheme to fulfil the vision of One Nation-One Price-One Ration under Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This is a commitment of the government to the most vulnerable 67 per cent of the population which is 81.35 crore persons covered under NFSA, according to the ministry’s statement.

Watch: Agenda 2023: Tackling Hunger, Malnutrition And Ensuring Food Security

Under the scheme, the government will provide free foodgrains to all NFSA beneficiaries namely Antyodaya Ann Yojana (AAY) households and Priority Household (PHH) persons for one year through the wide network of 5.33 lakh fair price shops across the country, according to the statement of the ministry of consumer affairs, food and public distribution. The decision will strengthen the provisions of NFSA, 2013, in terms of accessibility, affordability and availability of foodgrains for the poor.

The new integrated scheme will subsume two current food subsidy schemes of the department of food and public distribution (DFPD) namely food subsidy to Food Corporation of India (FCI) for NFSA, and sops for decentralised procurement states, which deal with procurement, allocation and delivery of free foodgrains under NFSA.

Also Read: There Is Enough Food For Everybody, It Is About Accessibility: Shombi Sharp, UN Resident Coordinator

Free foodgrains will concurrently ensure uniform implementation of portability under One Nation One Ration Card (ONORC) across the country and will further strengthen this choice-based platform. This means the ration card could be used anywhere in the country. The Centre will bear the food subsidy of more than Rs 2 lakh crore for 2023. The new scheme is aimed at bringing uniformity and clarity on food security under NFSA at beneficiary level, the ministry statement said.

For implementing this scheme, the ministry had said that the secretary of DFPD had taken a meeting with all state food secretaries on December 29, 2022. The issues related to distribution of free foodgrains were discussed including technical resolutions. All states and Union Territories assured to implement the free foodgrain scheme from January 1, 2023, according to the statement.

Also Read: Food Is About Basic Rights And Food Is Fundamental: World Food Programme Country Director

The government had issued an order to all general managers of FCI to visit three ration shops every day in different areas of their jurisdiction mandatorily from January 1 till 7 and submit a report to the DFPD nodal officer on a daily basis, in the given format for review and taking corrective action.

In view of free foodgrains, an advisory is issued to the states/UTs on the mechanism to provide dealer’s margin for distributing foodgrains to the beneficiaries, the ministry said.

Also Read: 81.35 Crore People To Get Free Foodgrain For A Year Under National Food Security Act

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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