Right to Food

Right to Food

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According to the Report No. 510 on “Public Distribution System and Other Sources of Household Consumption, 2004-05” based on the seventh quinquennial survey on Household Consumer Expenditure carried out during the NSS 61st round (July, 2004 - June, 2005) by the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) in the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, http://mospi.nic.in/press_note_510-Final.htm:


  • Ration cards were held by 81% of rural households and 67% of urban households. Below Poverty Line (BPL) cards were held by 26.5% of rural households and 10.5% of urban households. Antyodaya card holders were less than 3% of rural households and less than 1% of urban households.


  • About 18.7% of the households in the rural area and about 33.1% of the households in the urban area did not possess any card.


  • Among the bottom of the rural households ranked by monthly per capita expenditure (MPCE), an estimated 41% only held BPL ration cards. On the other hand, among top 5% of the rural population, an estimated 11% households held BPL ration cards. Among the next 5% of rural population 14% of households held BPL card, and among the next 10% of rural population, 18% of households held BPL ration card.


  • In urban areas, among the bottom MPCE class households, only 29% held BPL ration cards.


  • In rural area out of the total ration cardholder households about 10% were Schedule Tribe households, 22% were Schedule Caste households, 42% were Other Backward Class (OBC) households and 26% were other households.


  • In urban area out of the total ration cardholder households about 2% were Schedule Tribe households, 16% were Schedule Caste households, 35% were OBC households and 47% were held by other households.


  • 43% of “agricultural labour” households and 32% of “other labour” households in the rural area were in the possession of the BPL card.


  • As many as 51% of rural households possessing less than 0.01 hectares of land had no ration card at all, while in all other size classes 77-86% households held a ration card of some type. In respect of ration cards meant for the poor, the class possessing “0.01-0.40 hectares” was the one with the highest proportion of cards for both BPL (32%) and Antyodaya (4%).


  • The major State where consumption of rice from PDS was most common was Tamil Nadu followed by Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala.


  • PDS consumption of wheat/atta was most common in Karnataka, rural areas of Gujarat and Maharashtra, and in Madhya Pradesh.


  • PDS consumption of sugar, like rice, was most prevalent in Tamil Nadu followed by Assam and Andhra Pradesh. Fewer than 2% households consumed PDS sugar in Punjab, Haryana, Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa and Uttar Pradesh.


  • Over 55% of rural households used PDS kerosene in all major States except Punjab and Haryana. Use of PDS kerosene was most common in West Bengal for both rural areas (91% households) and urban areas (60%).


  • In 2004-05, in rural India the Midday Meal scheme benefited children from an estimated 22.8% of households, the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) benefited 5.7% of households, the Food-for-Work Scheme, to 2.7% households, and the Annapoorna scheme to only 0.9% households.


  • Among social groups, the Scheduled Tribes had the highest proportion of Food-for-Work and ICDS beneficiary households in both rural and urban India.


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