ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Food Security Act in Sleep Mode

The National Food Security Act, 2013, which promised subsidised foodgrains to 75% of the rural and 50% of the urban population of our country, is not catching attention any more as the state governments and the union government are silently postponing its implementation citing political differences. This article glances through the key elements of the act once again and takes us back to the almost forgotten debates around it.

No one is talking about the National Food Security Act, 2013 any longer. After the introduction of the bill in Parliament on December 2011, it lay quiet there for almost a year and a half before the dynamics of electoral politics intervened. On 5 July 2013 it was promulgated as a presidential Ordinance; later, on 12 September 2013 it was enacted into a law.

The 27th report of the Lok Sabha Committee articulates its purpose and intention as:

Food security means availability of sufficient foodgrains to meet the domestic demand as well as access, at the individual level, to adequate quantities of food at affordable prices…The proposed legislation marks a paradigm shift in addressing the problem of food security – from the current welfare approach to a right based approach. About two-thirds of the population will be entitled to receive subsidised foodgrains under Targeted Public Distribution System. In a country where almost 40% of children are undernourished, the importance of the scheme increases significantly (The National Food Security Bill 2011).

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