The Jammu and Kashmir government today decided that it will implement National Food Security Act in the state from April 1, 2016.
The decision in this regard was taken during a state cabinet meeting headed by Chief Minister Mufti Mohmmad Sayeed.
“We have decided to implement it (National Food Security Act NFSA) from April 1, 2016 in the state. The decision was taken during the cabinet meeting today,” Sayeed said, adding that “it was challenging work to decide”.
On being asked whether NFSA will be implemented in Jammu and Kashmir in toto without a legislation as central act cannot be directly implemented in the state, he gave an affirmative reply.
“There is no need for a legislation. It is an Act. The central act would be implemented (in toto). It is applicable everywhere. There is no problem in (implementing it here),” the chief minister said.
“We have been providing food to people in J&K as per 2001 Census but now food will be provided to people as per 2011 Census benefiting lakhs of people,” Sayeed said.
The implementation of the Act would benefit 4.71 lakh families or 20.13 lakh people in the state.
“This is a highly people-friendly act targeted to benefit poor, marginalised and deprived sections of the society. NFSA shall provide highly subsidised ration at Rs 2 (atta) and Rs 3 (rice) to maximum chunk of population i.E. 74.13 lakh people. Further, another 45 lakh people will get ration at Rs 8 (atta) and Rs 10 (rice), thus covering more than 95 per cent of the population,” he said.
From the present coverage of 13 lakh people under the government sponsored scheme Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY), Sayeed said now 74 lakh people in state will get highly subsidised ration cover at Rs 2 and Rs 3 under the NFSA.
He said at present, the PDS covers only 99 lakh people i.E. 18.02 lakh families but after the implementation of NFSA, 119.13 lakh people or 22.73 lakh families will be covered.
“The Act shall provide food right at the doorsteps of consumer in a hassle free manner,” he said.
Sayeed further said that any person who is denied ration shall be given food security allowance and for this, an in-built grievance redressal mechanism has been incorporated in the Act at state, district and block level.
“There shall be uniformity of scale.. 5 kg (of wheat and rice) to each person among all categories throughout the state except the rationees under AAY category irrespective of the number of family members,” he said.
From the present food distribution system, the state shall migrate to a highly targeted public distribution system, the CM said, adding that NFSA shall usher in an era of women empowerment with regard to food security.
Coupled with the already funded e-PDS project (Rs 20.50 crore), Sayeed said the NFSA shall help in bringing reforms.
“De-duplication shall eradicate bogus ration cards. Supply Chain Management system which shall map entire movement of foodgrains from FCI to the customer. Electronic weighing scale and PoS (point of sale) at the automated PDS shops shall automatically update ration deduction,” he added.
Sayeed said the act also provides additional financial support to the state government on account of inter-state transport, commission and for computerisation of PDS shops.
“This Act shall usher an era of assured supply of highly subsidised ration to the citizens of J&K at their doorsteps in a transparent manner by hosting data of beneficiaries on the state web portal accessible to one and all,” he said