17 Feb 2014

Nutritional Support to Children and Women under National Food Security Act

The National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA)
The National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA), provides for cost sharing between the Central and the State Government in respect of entitlements for pregnant women and lactating mothers and children upto 14 years of age. 

These entitlements are to be delivered through existing Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) and Mid Day Meal (MDM) schemes for which cost sharing norms already exist. A pilot scheme for maternity benefit viz. Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana (IGMSY) is also under implementation in select districts of the country. 

The Act provides that the schemes, guidelines, orders, etc., existing on the date of commencement of the Act, shall continue to be in force till such schemes, guidelines, orders etc. are specified or notified under the Act or the rules made thereunder. 

This information was given by the Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Prof. K.V. Thomas in a written reply in Lok Sabha today. 

Prof. Thomas said that a large number of suggestions were received during the process of consultation on the legislation on food security, which were duly considered. 

He said the Act provides for a two-tier grievance redressal mechanism consisting of District Grievance Redressal Officer for each district for expeditious and effective redressal of grievances and State Food Commission for monitoring and review of implementation of the Act.

The Act also contains provision for internal grievance redressal mechanism. Besides, the provisions for transparency and accountability in the Act include setting up of Vigilance Committees at State, District, Block and Fair Price Shop (FPS) levels with due representation to the local authorities, Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, women and destitute persons or persons with disability to inter alia regularly supervise implementation of all schemes under the Act. 

The Act inter alia provides for a period not exceeding 365 days after the commencement of the Act for identification of eligible households for receiving subsidized foodgrains under the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS). 

Foodgrains under the Act has been allocated so far to 10 States/UTs, as per the progress in identification of beneficiaries reported by them. As reported by these State Governments, ration cards as per NFSA have been provided to identified beneficiaries. 

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