During the year 2014-15, food subsidy of Rs. 113,171.2 crore has been released to the States under National Food Security Act 2013 (NFSA).
The NFSA – 2013 entitles upto 75 percent of the rural population and upto 50 percent of the urban population to receive foodgrains at subsidised prices of Rs 3, Rs 2 and 1 per kg for rice, wheat and coarse grains respectively under Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS). Thus, the TDPS is covering about 81.35 crore people of the country.
In 2014-15, foodgrains under the Act were allocated for about 33.74 crore beneficiaries, based on their reported identification for coverage under the Act by 11 States and Union Territories (UTs). In 2015-16, 12 more States and UTs have joined NFSA and at present about 49.67 crore people are covered in these 23 States and UTs for receiving foodgrains at subsidised prices under the Act.
Foodgrains allocation under existing TPDS is continuing in remaining 13 States and UTs. This information was given by the Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Ram Vilas Paswan in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today.
The Minister said that under NFSA, eligible households comprise of Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) households and priority households. The Act provides that identification of AAY households is to be done in accordance with the guidelines applicable to the scheme and the remaining households, i.e. priority households, are to be identified in accordance with such guidelines as State Governments may specify. AAY is an ongoing scheme and the AAY households are already identified in States and UTs. For identification of priority households, complete responsibility for evolving the criteria and their actual identification is with the State governments. It is not linked to Socio-Economic and Caste Census (SECC) under the Act. However, Few States have used SECC data for identification of eligible households.
He said that expenditure on subsidy involved in allocation of foodgrains under NFSA as well as existing TPDS is met out of budgetary allocation for food subsidy.