During World War II, India experienced severe food shortages, thus on December 1, 1942, a separate Food Department was established under the Commerce Member of the Governor General’s Council to satisfy the needs. The following is an excerpt from a note written by Benjamin George Holdsworth, CIE, ICS, the first Secretary of the Department of Food, taken from the Home Department File No. 388/42-Public, in which the proposal to issue a formal Resolution of the new Department of Food by the Home Department is discussed.
What is it about?
NFSA’s section 22(4) (d) states that “The Central Government should assist State Governments in meeting the costs of intra-State movement, foodgrain handling, and margins given to fair price shop dealers for the distribution of foodgrains allocated to entitled persons. The Food Security (Assistance to State Government Rules) 2015 was published in 2015 to fulfill the Act’s requirements. The plan is as follows: “The NFSA provision “Assistance to State agencies for intra-State movement of foodgrains and FPS dealers margin under NFSA” provides assistance in three areas: I intra-State transportation and handling of foodgrains; (ii) FPS Dealers’ basic margin; and (iii) Additional margin to FPS Dealers for sale through electronic point of sale devices (ePoS).
For the first time under the NFSA, provisions for central aid for intra-State foodgrain movement and FPS dealers margin have been made. Previously, under the TPDS, state governments were compelled to either cover this cost themselves or pass it on to beneficiaries (except AAY beneficiaries). This NFSA provision intends to Ensure that food grains are available to beneficiaries at set rates. (Rs.3/2/1 per kilogram, respectively, for rice, wheat, and coarse grains) (ii) Ensure a decent income for FPS merchants to reduce foodgrain leakages and diversion.
Central support is supplied by authorized rules, with 50:50 cost-sharing in the case of General category states and 75 percent cost-sharing in the case of North Eastern/Hilly/Island states. The current norms, which have been in effect since 2015, are listed in Table 1 below.
- To put the National Food Security Act of 2013 into effect across the country.
- Price support operations will be carried out through efficient wheat, paddy/rice, and coarse grains procurement.
- To improve the efficiency of targeted public distribution systems.
- Sugar industry development and promotion.
- The Warehousing Industry is Growing.
- The Public Service System is being improved.
- Procurement, storage, and distribution of food grains at a minimum support price (MSP).
- Using suitable policy instruments to ensure the availability of food grains and sugar, particularly the preservation of food grain buffer stockpiles.
- Under the PDS, food grains are made accessible at reasonable prices, especially to the poor and vulnerable sections of society.
Components (As per Allocation of Business Rules)
- Participation in international food-related conferences, associations, and other entities, such as the International Wheat Council, World Food Council, International Food Policy Research Institute, Commissions/Committees on Food Security, and execution of decisions.
- Treaties and agreements with other countries, as well as implementing treaties, agreements, and conventions with foreign countries relevant to food grains and other foodstuffs trade and commerce.
- Hiring and purchasing godowns for the storage of foodgrains, including sugar, as well as leasing or purchasing land for the construction of godowns for foodgrains.