The High Level Expert Committee appointed by the Government to recommend for restructuring of FCI as regards National Food Security Act (NFSA) has recommended following:-
- i) to defer implementation of NFSA in States that have not done end to end computerization; have not put the list of beneficiaries online for anyone to verify, and have not set up vigilance committees to check pilferage form Public Distribution System (PDS).
- ii) to reduce coverage from 67 percent of population to 40 percent; raise allocation to priority households form 5 kg to 7 kg per person per month.
iii) to gradually introduce cash transfers in Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS), starting with large cities with more than 1 million population; extending it to grain surplus States, and then giving option to deficit States to opt for cash or physical grain distribution.
The Government has examined these recommendations and the reaction is as under:
- i) The States/ UTs are already required to comply with certain pre-requisites like completion of the ongoing scheme for computerization of Targeted Public Distribution System operations, which includes putting up digitized list of beneficiaries on transparency portal; putting in place grievance redressal mechanism, etc. as per requirement of NFSA, in order to start implementation of the Act.
- ii) The NFSA is already in force. There is no proposal for any amendment to the Act.
iii) Direct transfer of cash subsidy is one of the options discussed in various fora for checking diversion of foodgrains. Its implementation, however, depends upon readiness of States/ UTs in terms of digitization and de-duplication of beneficiary data-base seeds with bank account numbers and it can be taken up on specific requests from States/ UTs.
This information was given by the Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Shri Raosaheb Patil Danve in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.