Chhattisgarh Food Security Act (CFSA), an improved version of the "national food security bill" that has been languishing in Parliament for more than a year. Under the CFSA, about 90% of the population of Chhattisgarh will have PDS entitlements, mostly under the Priority and Antyodaya categories, entitled to 35 kgs of foodgrains per month at a token price aside from 2 kg of pulses or chana at Rs 5/kg and free iodized salt. The Act also guarantees free nutritious meals or take-home rations in anganwadis, schools and other institutions for children below the age of six years, school children, pregnant and lactating women, destitute persons and other vulnerable groups.
Here is the summary:
Chhattisgarh Food Security Act 2012:
Summary of Main Provisions
The Chhattisgarh Food Security Act was passed on 21 December 2012 to ensure “access to adequate quantity of food and other requirements of good nutrition to the people of the state, at affordable prices, at all times to live a life of dignity”. The main provisions of the Act are as follows:
Public Distribution System: The Act divides households into four groups: Antyodaya, Priority, General and Excluded households. The PDS entitlements of each group are given in the Annexure. The identification of different groups is left to the state government, but some eligibility criteria are specified in the Act (see Annexure).
Other Entitlements: Aside from the PDS, the Act defines other entitlements for specific groups, as follows:
Other Significant Provisions of the Act:
1.PDS entitlements are household entitlements, not individual entitlements.
2.The eldest adult woman of the family will be considered as the head of the household for the purpose of the ration card. If a household doesn’t have an adult woman, then the eldest man may be considered as head of the household.
3.The Services under the Act are notified under the Chhattisgarh Lok Sewa Guarantee Act, 2011, and are subject to timely delivery and fines for erring officials.
4.Grains will be delivered to the fair price shops, following “door-step delivery”, while end-to-end computerisation of records will be done.
5.Preference will be given to public institutions and public bodies such as Gram Panchayats, Self-Help Groups and cooperatives, while private dealers are prohibited to run ration shops.
6.The state government is responsible for procurement of grain and additional financial costs under the act, over and above what has been provisioned by the central government, even if central assistance is inadequate.
7.Transparency and accountability provisions, such as formation of vigilance committees, social audits, and all documents to be in the public domain, are included.
8.There is no limit or “cap” on the number of persons to be included in the various categories of inclusion under the priority and Antyodaya categories.
9.The state government has to notify, within six months, schemes that will give effect to all the new entitlements defined under the Act.
10. The Act is integrated with the Essential Commodities Act, the Chhattisgarh PDS (Control) Order, and also anticipates the possible enactment of a national food security act.