The center has rolled out its new integrated food security Scheme. Two days after its launch on 1 January 2023, facts have surfaced about its per pose and timing.

The scheme which was approved by the cabinet, led by Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, aims to provide free food grains to 81.35 crore beneficiaries under NFSA, for the year 2023. 

The Scheme would also ensure effective and uniform implementation of the National Food Security Act (NFSA).

Ahead of the general elections in 2024, this is going to link the people of the nation and thereby make them have access to food and nutritional security through the availability of an adequate quantity of quality food grains. 

For fulfilling this commitment to the most vulnerable 67% of the population i.e. 81.35 crore persons covered under NFSA, the cabinet had decided to launch a new Central Sector scheme to fulfill the vision of One Nation - One Price - One Ration.

Under the scheme, GoI will provide free foodgrains to all NFSA beneficiaries i.e. Antyodaya Ann Yojana (AAY) households & Priority Household (PHH) persons for the next one year through the widespread network of 5.33 lakhs Fair Price Shops across the country. The decision will strengthen the provisions of NFSA, 2013 in terms of accessibility, affordability and availability of foodgrains for the poor.

The new integrated scheme will subsume two current food subsidy schemes of the Department of Food and Public Distribution- a) Food Subsidy to FCI for NFSA, and b) Food Subsidy for decentralized procurement states, dealing with procurement, allocation and delivery of free foodgrains to the states under NFSA. 

Free foodgrains will concurrently ensure uniform implementation of portability under One Nation One Ration Card (ONORC) across the country and will further strengthen this choice-based platform. Central Government will bear the food subsidy of more than Rs. 2 Lakh crore for the year 2023. The new scheme is aimed at bringing uniformity and clarity on food security under NFSA at the beneficiary level. 

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To implement the decision in the field,

  1. The Secretary, DFPD has taken a meeting with all State Food Secretaries on 29.12.2022. The issues related to distribution of free foodgrains were discussed including technical resolutions. All States and UTs assured to implement the free foodgrain scheme from 1st January 2023. 
  2. Notification of modified Schedule I reflecting zero price of foodgrains for AAY and PHH beneficiaries from 1st January 2023 to 31stDecember 2023 has been issued on 31.12.22 and shared with the States/UTs. 
  3. Also an order is issued for all General Managers of FCI to visit three ration shops every day in different areas of their jurisdiction mandatorily from 01.01.2023 to 07.01.2023 and submit a report to the DFPD Nodal Officer on a daily basis, in the given format for review and taking corrective action. 
  4. In view of free foodgrains, an advisory is also issued to the States/UTs on the mechanism to provide Dealer’s Margin for distributing foodgrains to the beneficiaries.

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