Minister for Consumer Affairs & Public Distribution and Transport, Ch Mohammad Ramzan while addressing a two day conference on National Food Security Act, 2013 held in New Delhi welcomed the enactment of National Food Security Act, 2013 but appealed for coverage of 100 per cent of rural population and 95 per cent of urban population instead of 75 per cent of rural and 50 per cent of urban population as proposed in the Bill, adding that 7 kgs of food grain be issued per soul instead of proposed 5 kgs.
As per a statement Ramzan while appreciating the steps being initiated for taking care of vulnerable section of the population for ensuring food to all, specifically to BPL, AAY, pregnant ladies and children through mid-day meals programmes, he stressed for consideration of the comments of the State under coverage of population and scale of foodgrains and be taken into consideration in the National Food Security Act, 2013.
Presently the state government covers 99.01 lacs population as per the projected population of the year 2000. There are 18.02 lac families (Ration Ticket Holders) receiving foodgrains @ 35 kgs per family per month. The Government of India allocates 63,067 MTs of foodgrains for the total projected population of 2000 at the said scale of 35 kgs per family per month, reads the statement.
As per Census 2011, the population of the state has been projected as 125.489 lac, thus 22.73 lac families worked out on the basis of national average of 5.25 persons per family norm are to be covered which would require 79,555 MTs of foodgrains at the scale of 35 kgs per family in a month. Therefore, there would be short fall of 1648 MTs of foodgrains per month for 100 per cent coverage of the population.
He said as per National Food Security Act, 2013 promulgated by the Ministry of Law and Justice, government of India, only 75 per cent population of the rural areas and 50 per cent of urban population is to be covered and provided subsidized ration. The eligible household rationees shall be provided foodgrains at the scale of 5 kgs per soul per month, while as out of the same the rationees under AAY Schemes shall be provided foodgrains at the scale of 35 Kgs per family per month. As per the Census 2011, the total rural population is 91.348 lac and urban population is 34.141 lac, therefore, as per the provisions of Ordinance, only 68.51 lac in rural areas and 17.07 lac in urban areas totalling to 85.58 lac population shall be covered for subsidized foodgrains. Thus overall 68 per cent of population shall be covered under the National Food Security Ordinance. There will be no subsidized ration for 32 per cent of population i.e. 39.97 lac in the State, he said.
He said the government of India has communicated state wise percentage of population to be covered in rural as well as in urban areas in all the States keeping in view the various parameters which they have taken into consideration for getting monthly per capita consumption expenditure (MPCE) survey conducted by the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO). The figures which have been communicated the State for J&K covers 58.05 per cent population in rural areas and 16.08 per cent in urban areas only which indicates further decline in the coverage of population from the norms of 75 per cent and 50 per cent in rural and urban areas respectively. For the said population at the scale of 5 kgs per soul and 35 kgs per family under AAY scheme, total quantity which shall be allocated by the Government of India would be 45,175 MTs only. It is quite clear that the State of J&K shall be receiving 17,892 MTs less to the already allocated quantity of 63,067 MTs at the projected population of 2000.