PDS/ Ration/ Food Security
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.
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.
Source: Right to Food Campaign
Excluded households: Income tax payees; households in non-scheduled areas who own more than 4 hectares of irrigated land or 8 hectares of non-irrigated land; households in urban areas that own a pucca house with carpet area more than 1,000 sq. ft. and are liable to pay property tax.
General households: Not specified in the act (this is a “default” category).
Priority households: Not specified in the Act, but the following categories are to be included: landless labourers, small and marginal farmers (with land up to two hectare)s, workers in urban informal sector and households of construction workers.
Antyodaya households: Not specified in the Act, but the following categories are to be included: Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups; households headed by terminally ill persons, widows or single women, physically challenged persons; households headed by a person of age sixty years or more with no means of subsistence; persons freed from bonded labour; and those who are currently entitled to the Mukhyamantri Khadyanna Sahayata Yojana.
Source: Right to Food Campaign