New Delhi, Dec 31 (FN Agency) The government on Saturday announced the roll out of a new integrated food security scheme starting January 1, 2023. As per the decision made by cabinet, the new scheme would provide free food grains to 81.35 crore beneficiaries under NFSA, for the year 2023, an official statement said. The scheme would also ensure effective and uniform implementation of National Food Security Act (NFSA), it said.
‘Under the scheme, Government of India 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 wide spread 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 statement said. 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 food grains 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 beneficiary level,’ the statement added.