THE NATIONAL FOOD SECURITY ACT, 2013
[Act No. 20 of 2013]
[10th September, 2013]
An Act to provide for food and nutritional security in human life cycle approach, by ensuring access to adequate quantity of quality food at affordable prices to people to live a life with dignity and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
Be it enacted by Parliament in the Sixty-fourth Year of the Republic of India as follows:--
Section 1. Short title, extent and commencement
(1) This Act may be called the National Food Security Act, 2013.
(2) It extends to the whole of India.
(3) Save as otherwise provided, it shall be deemed to have come into force on the 5th day of July, 2013.
Section 2. Definitions
In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,--
(1) "anganwadi" means a child care and development centre set up under the Integrated Child Development Services Scheme of the Central Government to render services covered under section 4, clause (a) of sub-section (1) of section 5 and section 6;
(2) "central pool" means the stock of foodgrains which is,--
(i) procured by the Central Government and the State Governments through minimum support price operations;
(ii) maintained for allocations under the Targeted Public Distribution System, other welfare schemes, including calamity relief and such other schemes;
(iii) kept as reserves for schemes referred to in sub-clause (ii);
(3) "eligible households" means households covered under the priority households and the Antyodaya Anna Yojana referred to in sub-section (1) of section 3;
(4) "fair price shop" means a shop which has been licensed to distribute essential commodities by an order issued under section 3 of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 (10 of 1955), to the ration card holders under the Targeted Public Distribution System;
(5) "foodgrains" means rice, wheat or coarse grains or any combination thereof conforming to such quality norms as may be determined, by order, by the Central Government from time to time;
(6) "food security" means the supply of the entitled quantity of foodgrains and meal specified under Chapter II;
(7) "food security allowance" means the amount of money to be paid by the concerned State Government to the entitled persons under section 8;
(8) "local authority" includes Panchayat, municipality, district board, cantonment board, town planning authority and in the States of Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura where Panchayats do not exist, the village council or committee or any other body, by whatever name called, which is authorised under the Constitution or any law for the time being in force for self-governance or any other authority or body vested with the control and management of civic services, within a specified local area;
(9) "meal" means hot cooked or pre-cooked and heated before its service meal or take home ration, as may be prescribed by the Central Government;
(10) "minimum support price" means the assured price announced by the Central Government at which foodgrains are procured from farmers by the Central Government and the State Governments and their agencies, for the central pool;
(11) "notification" means a notification issued under this Act and published in the Official Gazette;
(12) "other welfare schemes" means such Government schemes, in addition to the Targeted Public Distribution System, under which foodgrains or meals are supplied as part of the schemes;
(13) "person with disability" means a person defined as such in clause (t) of section 2 of the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995 (1 of 1996);
(14) "priority households" means households identified as such under section 10;
(15) "prescribed" means prescribed by rules made under this Act;
(16) "ration card" means a document issued under an order or authority of the State Government for the purchase of essential commodities from the fair price shops under the Targeted Public Distribution System;
(17) "rural area" means any area in a State except those areas covered by any urban local body or a cantonment board established or constituted under any law for the time being in force;
(18) "Schedule" means a Schedule appended to this Act;
(19) "senior citizen" means a person defined as such under clause (h) of section 2 of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 (56 of 2007);
(20) "social audit" means the process in which people collectively monitor and evaluate the planning and implementation of a programme or scheme;
(21) "State Commission" means the State Food Commission constituted under section 16;
(22) "State Government", in relation to a Union territory, means the Administrator thereof appointed under article 239 of the Constitution;
(23) "Targeted Public Distribution System" means the system for distribution of essential commodities to the ration card holders through fair price shops;
(24) "Vigilance Committee" means a committee constituted under section 29 to supervise the implementation of all schemes under this Act;
(25) the words and expressions not defined here but defined in the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 (10 of 1955), or any other relevant Act shall have the meaning respectively assigned to them in those Acts.
Provisions for Food Security
Section 3. Right to receive foodgrains at subsidised prices by persons belonging to eligible households under Targeted Public Distribution System
(1) Every person belonging to priority households, identified under sub-section (1) of section 10, shall be entitled to receive five kilograms of foodgrains per person per month at subsidised prices specified in Schedule I from the State Government under the Targeted Public Distribution System:
Provided that the households covered under Antyodaya Anna Yojana shall, to such extent as may be specified by the Central Government for each State in the said scheme, be entitled to thirty-five kilograms of foodgrains per household per month at the prices specified in Schedule I:
Provided further that if annual allocation of foodgrains to any State under the Act is less than the average annual offtake of foodgrains for last three years under normal Targeted Public Distribution System, the same shall be protected at prices as may be determined by the Central Government and the State shall be allocated foodgrains as specified in Schedule IV.
Explanation.--For the purpose of this section, the "Antyodaya Anna Yojana" means, the scheme by the said name launched by the Central Government on the 25th day of December, 2000; and as modified from time to time.
(2) The entitlements of the persons belonging to the eligible households referred to in sub-section (1) at subsidised prices shall extend up to seventy-five per cent. of the rural population and up to fifty per cent. of the urban population.
(3) Subject to sub-section (1), the State Government may provide to the persons belonging to eligible households, wheat flour in lieu of the entitled quantity of foodgrains in accordance with such guidelines as may be specified by the Central Government.
Section 4. Nutritional support to pregnant women and lactating mothers
Subject to such schemes as may be framed by the Central Government, every pregnant woman and lactating mother shall be entitled to--
(a) meal, free of charge, during pregnancy and six months after the child birth, through the local anganwadi, so as to meet the nutritional standards specified in Schedule II; and
(b) maternity benefit of not less than rupees six thousand, in such instalments as may be prescribed by the Central Government:
Provided that all pregnant women and lactating mothers in regular employment with the Central Government or State Governments or Public Sector Undertakings or those who are in receipt of similar benefits under any law for the time being in force shall not be entitled to benefits specified in clause (b).
Section 5. Nutritional support to children
(1) Subject to the provisions contained in clause (b), every child up to the age of fourteen years shall have the following entitlements for his nutritional needs, namely:--
(a) in the case of children in the age group of six months to six years, age appropriate meal, free of charge, through the local anganwadi so as to meet the nutritional standards specified in Schedule II:
Provided that for children below the age of six months, exclusive breast feeding shall be promoted;
(b) in the case of children, up to class VIII or within the age group of six to fourteen years, whichever is applicable, one mid-day meal, free of charge, everyday, except on school holidays, in all schools run by local bodies, Government and Government aided schools, so as to meet the nutritional standards specified in Schedule II.
(2) Every school, referred to in clause (b) of sub-section (1), and anganwadi shall have facilities for cooking meals, drinking water and sanitation:
Provided that in urban areas facilities of centralised kitchens for cooking meals may be used, wherever required, as per the guidelines issued by the Central Government.
Section 6. Prevention and management of child malnutrition
The State Government shall, through the local anganwadi, identify and provide meals, free of charge, to children who suffer from malnutrition, so as to meet the nutritional standards specified in Schedule II.
Section 7. Implementation of schemes for realisation of entitlements
The State Governments shall implement schemes covering entitlements under sections 4, 5 and section 6 in accordance with the guidelines, including cost sharing, between the Central Government and the State Governments in such manner as may be prescribed by the Central Government.
Food Security Allowance
Section 8. Right to receive food security allowance in certain cases
In case of non-supply of the entitled quantities of foodgrains or meals to entitled persons under Chapter II, such persons shall be entitled to receive such food security allowance from the concerned State Government to be paid to each person, within such time and manner as may be prescribed by the Central Government.
Identification of Eligible Households
Section 9. Coverage of population under Targeted Public Distribution System
The percentage coverage under the Targeted Public Distribution System in rural and urban areas for each State shall, subject to sub-section (2) of section 3, be determined by the Central Government and the total number of persons to be covered in such rural and urban areas of the State shall be calculated on the basis of the population estimates as per the census of which the relevant figures have been published.
Section 10. State Government to prepare guidelines and to identify priority households
(1) The State Government shall, within the number of persons determined under section 9 for the rural and urban areas, identify--
(a) the households to be covered under the Antyodaya Anna Yojana to the extent specified under sub-section (1) of section 3, in accordance with the guidelines applicable to the said scheme;
(b) the remaining households as priority households to be covered under the Targeted Public Distribution System, in accordance with such guidelines as the State Government may specify:
Provided that the State Government may, as soon as possible, but within such period not exceeding three hundred and sixty-five days, after the commencement of the Act, identify the eligible households in accordance with the guidelines framed under this sub-section:
Provided further that the State Government shall continue to receive the allocation of foodgrains from the Central Government under the existing Targeted Public Distribution System, till the identification of such households is complete.
(2) The State Government shall update the list of eligible households, within the number of persons determined under section 9 for the rural and urban areas, in accordance with the guidelines framed under sub-section (1).