The National Food Security Bill, 2013 passed by the parliament Monday gives right to subsidised food grain to 67 percent of India’s 1.2 billion people and provides for penalty for non-compliance by public servants. The bill’s salient features include:
- Seventy five percent of rural and 50 percent of the urban population entitled to five kg foodgrains per month at Rs.3, Rs.2, Re.1 per kg for rice, wheat and coarse grains, respectively.
- The work of identification of eligible households has been left to the states.
- Pregnant women and lactating mothers entitled to nutritious meals and maternity benefit of at least Rs.6,000 for six months.
- The central government will provide funds to states in case of short supply of foodgrain.
- The current foodgrain allocation of the states will be protected by the central government.
- The state governments will provide food security allowance to the beneficiaries in case of non-supply of foodgrain.
- Public distribution system to be reformed.
- The eldest woman in the household, 18 years or above, will be the head of the household for the issue of the ration card.
- There will be state and district level redress mechanisms.