Wednesday, June 24, 2015

National Food Security Act (NFSA)

National Food Security Act (NFSA) was passed by the parliament to ensure two-third of India gets food at a subsidised rate. The recent Public Distribution System (PDS) Order is seen by some analysts to curtail the provisions of the act.
-The recent PDS order notifies three things- Phasing out of Antyodya Anna Yojana (AAY), count of beneficiary to be determined by decadal census list and limiting the benefits to the citizens.
Implications:
-By adding no new beneficiary houses in the AAY schemes, government is trying to phase out the programme slowly. This would let many ‘poorest of the poor’ families not to be included in the future list.
-The count of the beneficiaries would now be dependent upon census figure and not on the population estimates of the Registrar. This would not let the state government to revise the beneficiaries on yearly basis. Thus a new beneficiary can be added only after a decade.
-The most impacting of all the three orders is to limit the benefits to the citizens, and not to the residents. This would make all the Indian residents who has not got the citizenship out of the ambit of the biggest nutritional legislation. It would also let all the migrant not to avail the benefit of NFSA.
-There is a continuous debate on the continuity of the NFSA after new government took power this year. The focus should not be on phasing out the act but on implementing it fully.


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