Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution Schemes
National Food Security Act, 2013
It aims to provide subsidized food grains to approximately 2/3rd of India’s population i.e 75% in rural areas and 50% in urban areas will be covered under TPDS, with uniform entitlement of 5 kg/person/month.
It converts the various existing food security schemes into legal entitlements (i.e.) from welfare based approach to rights based approach.
It includes the Midday Meal Scheme, ICDS scheme, the PDS and also recognizes maternity entitlements.
Under NFSA, each beneficiaries is entitled to 5 kilograms of food grains per month at Rs. 3 ,Rs. 2 , Rs. 1 per kg for rice, wheat and coarse grains respectively. It has been decided by the Government to continue the above mentioned subsidized prices up to June, 2019.
Thereafter prices will be as fixed by the Central Government from time to time, not exceeding MSP.
However, the beneficiaries under Antyodaya Anna Yojana will keep receiving the 35 kg/household/month at same rates.
NFSA also guarantees age appropriate meal, free of charge through local anganwadi for children up to 6 months and one free meal for children in age group 6-14 years in schools.
Every pregnant and lactating mother is entitled to a free meal at the local anganwadi as well as maternity benefits of Rs.6,000, in installments.
These maternal benefits are not extended to Government employees, since other similar benefits are provided.
The identification of eligible households is left to state governments.
It also has provisions for food security allowance to entitled beneficiaries in case of non-supply of entitled foodgrains/meals.
The Price Stabilization Fund (PSF) was set up in 2014-15 under the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Famers Welfare (DAC&FW).
The PSF scheme was later transferred from DAC&FW to the Department of Consumer Affairs (DOCA) in 2016.
The fund is to help regulate the price volatility of important agri-horticultural commodities like onion, and potatoes. Pulses were also added subsequently.
The scheme provides for maintaining a strategic buffer of aforementioned commodities for subsequent calibrated release to moderate price volatility and discourages hoarding and unscrupulous speculation.
For building such stock, the scheme promotes direct purchase from farmers/farmers‘ association at farm gate/Mandi.
The PSF is utilized for granting interest free advance of working capital to Central Agencies, State/UT Governments/Agencies to undertake market intervention operations.
Apart from domestic procurement from farmers/wholesale mandis, import may also be undertaken with support from the Fund.
The agricultural ministry has recently proposed to include Milk in the PSF which is not yet confirmed.
Jago Grahak Jago
It is a country wide multimedia awareness campaign on various issues related to consumer rights and responsibilities across diverse subjects.
The programme is launched jointly in partnership with the related government departments.
Consumer protection Act
It provides consumers with speedy and inexpensive redressal grievances mechanism and specific relief or award of compensation.
It recognizes six of the eight rights of the consumer as provided in the UN charter.
It envisages rights of consumers such as Right to Protection, Right of Information, Right of Choice, Right of Hearing, Right of Redressal and Right of Education.
Antyodaya Anna Yojana
The scheme aims to make Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) more focused and targeted towards the poorest section of population.
Beneficiary families under the scheme are distributed 35 kg of rice and wheat at the rates of Rs. 3 per kg and Rs. 2 per kg respectively. Coarse grains, on the other hand, are distributed at the rate of Rs. 1 per kg.
Other families that are not part of AAY but are covered under NFSA receive grains at the rate of Rs. 5 per kg.
Under the scheme, subsidies are fully borne by the central government and States/UT bears the distribution cost.
The scheme has been expanded to cover 2.50 Cr households and scale of issue has been increased to 35 kg/family/month.