Food security bill to be launched in Rajasthan
Food security bill is going to be implemented in Rajasthan from August 20, 2013 and it is estimated that around 76% of rural population and around 54% or urban population will be benefited from the Food security act.
All over Rajasthan around 4.84 crore people will get benefits from The Food security act 2013 .Out of this 3.96 crore people are from the rural area and rest 92.29 lakh population is from cities and urban areas.
Prasadi Lal Meena (Minister, Food and Civil supplies) said that "As per the instructions from UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Rajasthan's Chief Minister Mr.Ashok Gehlot, the act will be implemented in Rajasthan from August 20, 2013 onwards."
what is Food Security Bill
As per the provisions the Act stats that House hold which is Below Poverty line will get food grains at a subsidized price , Rice for Rs 3 per kg, Wheat for Rs 2 per kg and Other coarse grains at Rs 1 per kg for three years from the date of implementing of Food Security Act.
According to the Food security Act the eldest women in house coming in below poverty line, who must not be less than 18 years will be the in-charge of house for the purpose of issue of ration cards. This decision is made to bring women empowerment.
Government will also constitute a Food Commission in every state for the smooth flow of the act and monitoring purpose. The Food commission will include six members out of which two members will be women and one each from St /Sc categories which will ensure the equal distribution of food to all categories of cast. The commission will also be liable to hear appeals and complaints. The government will also setup call centers, help lines and nodal officers to ensure effective running of the act.
Benefits of Food Security Bill
If the act is properly implemented it would lower the expenses of BPL households on food grains so that they can utilize that money on other services like health, education and a goof lifestyle.
According to a research Food Security Bill will help Below Poverty Households to save around Rs.4400 by purchasing the subsidized food which is equal to around 8% of the annual expenditure of a rural household and around 5% of the annual expenditure of urban household.
For rural household that amount is even more than that they spend on medical and education.
Purchasing subsidized food from public distribution system will help the below poverty families to save a part of their income. The rural household who earn their income through agriculture can sell their grains in market at higher price and can avail the subsidized grains from public distribution system which will make a good earning for them which they can use for other purposes like education and health care.
It is generally seen that due to the preference for better quality and greater variety of food grains available in the market, households above the poverty line that are not purchasing food grains under the Public distribution system.
Below poverty line households are less sensitive about quality as it helps them to save a part of their annual expenditure. Therefore more and more below poverty line households will shift to the Public distribution system. Once Below poverty households who currently do not have access to Public distribution system will get an Id proof and will be able to purchase food grains at the subsidized prices instead of at the higher market price.
Estimate savings which below poverty line household will be able to make in 2013-2014 is around Rs.4400 per family.
Challenges in Implementing Food Security Bill
Although the Food security bill is estimated to benefit 67% of India's households to subsidized food grains, it is still not specific that how government will identify those households. The Below poverty line households can get the benefits of the Food Security Bill only when all the poor are correctly identified and receive access to subsidized food.
For this, the government can use the Aadhar card and link the income status from Aadhar database to the Food Security Bill Database. Moreover, transferring subsidies through the Aadhar-enabled bank account of below poverty line households will also ensure that cash subsidies reach their respective recipients. Using Aadhar as an identity proof at the point of sale of food grains will also ensure proper distribution.