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National Food Security Act, 2013

The Indian National Food Security Act, 2013 (also known as Right to Food Act), was signed into law September 12, 2013, retroactive to July 5, 2013. This law aims to provide subsidized food grains to approximately two thirds of India's 1.2 billion people. Under the provisions of the bill, beneficiaries are to be able to purchase 5 kilograms per eligible person per month of cereals at the following prices:

  • Rice at INR 3.00 per kg
  • Wheat at INR 2.00 per kg
  • Coarse grains (millet) at INR 1.00 per kg.

Pregnant women, lactating mothers, and certain categories of children are eligible for daily free meals. The bill has been highly controversial. It was introduced into India's parliament in December 2012, promulgated as a presidential ordinance on July 5, 2013, and enacted into law in August 2013.

Salient features

  • 75% of rural and 50% of the urban population are entitled for three years from enactment to five kg food grains per month at INR 3.00, INR 2.00, INR 1.00 per kg for rice, wheat and coarse grains (millet), respectively.
  • The states are responsible for determining eligibility.
  • Pregnant women and lactating mothers are entitled to a nutritious "take home ration" of 600 Calories and a maternity benefit of at least Rs 6,000 for six months.
  • Children 6 months to 14 years of age are to receive free hot meals or "take home rations".
  • The central government will provide funds to states in case of short supplies of food grains.
  • The current food grain allocation of the states will be protected by the central government for at least six months.
  • The state government will provide a food security allowance to the beneficiaries in case of non-supply of food grains.
  • The Public Distribution System is to be reformed.
  • The eldest woman in the household, 18 years or above, is the head of the household for the issuance of the ration card.
  • There will be state and district-level redress mechanisms and State Food Commissions will be formed for implementation and monitoring of the provisions of the Act.
  • The cost of the implementation is estimated to be INR 1.25 lac crores, approximately 1.5 % of GDP.
  • The poorest who are covered under the Antodaya anna yojna will remain entitled to the 35 kg of grains allotted to them under the mentioned scheme.

Information Links

  • National Food Security Act - 2013 page is open on facebook for public. Please Visit our Official facebook page
  • Presentation on NFSA Seminar held on 10 January 2014 - View PDF