Topic: The National Food Security Act, 2013

The National Food Security Act, 2013

NO. 20 OF 2013
[10th September, 2013.]
An Act to provide for food and nutritional security in human life cycle approach,
by ensuring access to adequate quantity of quality food at affordable prices
to people to live a life with dignity and for matters connected therewith or
incidental thereto.
BE it enacted by Parliament in the Sixty-fourth Year of the Republic of India as follows:—

CHAPTER I
PRELIMINARY
1. (1) This Act may be called the National Food Security Act, 2013.
(2) It extends to the whole of India.
(3) Save as otherwise provided, it shall be deemed to have come into force on the
5th day of July, 2013.
2. In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,—
(1) "anganwadi" means a child care and development centre set up under the
Integrated Child Development Services Scheme of the Central Government to render
services covered under section 4, clause (a) of sub-section (1) of section 5 and
section 6;

(2) "central pool" means the stock of foodgrains which is,—
(i) procured by the Central Government and the State Governments through
minimum support price operations;
(ii) maintained for allocations under the Targeted Public Distribution
System, other welfare schemes, including calamity relief and such other schemes;
(iii) kept as reserves for schemes referred to in sub-clause (ii);
(3) "eligible households" means households covered under the priority
households and the Antyodaya Anna Yojana referred to in sub-section (1) of
section 3;
(4) "fair price shop" means a shop which has been licensed to distribute essential
commodities by an order issued under section 3 of the Essential Commodities Act,
1955, to the ration card holders under the Targeted Public Distribution System;
(5) "foodgrains" means rice, wheat or coarse grains or any combination thereof
conforming to such quality norms as may be determined, by order, by the Central
Government from time to time;
(6) "food security" means the supply of the entitled quantity of foodgrains and
meal specified under Chapter II;

(7) "food security allowance" means the amount of money to be paid by the
concerned State Government to the entitled persons under section 8;
(8) "local authority" includes Panchayat, municipality, district board, cantonment
board, town planning authority and in the States of Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya,
Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura where Panchayats do not exist, the village council or
committee or any other body, by whatever name called, which is authorised under the
Constitution or any law for the time being in force for self-governance or any other
authority or body vested with the control and management of civic services, within a
specified local area;
(9) "meal" means hot cooked or pre-cooked and heated before its service meal or
take home ration, as may be prescribed by the Central Government;
(10) "minimum support price" means the assured price announced by the Central
Government at which foodgrains are procured from farmers by the Central Government
and the State Governments and their agencies, for the central pool;
(11) "notification" means a notification issued under this Act and published in
the Official Gazette;
(12) "other welfare schemes" means such Government schemes, in addition to
the Targeted Public Distribution System, under which foodgrains or meals are supplied
as part of the schemes;
(13) "person with disability" means a person defined as such in clause (t) of
section 2 of the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights
and Full Participation) Act, 1995;

(14) "priority households" means households identified as such under
section 10;
(15) "prescribed" means prescribed by rules made under this Act;
(16) "ration card" means a document issued under an order or authority of the
State Government for the purchase of essential commodities from the fair price shops
under the Targeted Public Distribution System;
(17) "rural area" means any area in a State except those areas covered by any
urban local body or a cantonment board established or constituted under any law for
the time being in force;

(18) "Schedule" means a Schedule appended to this Act;
(19) "senior citizen" means a person defined as such under clause (h) of section 2
of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007;
(20) "social audit" means the process in which people collectively monitor and
evaluate the planning and implementation of a programme or scheme;
(21) "State Commission" means the State Food Commission constituted under
section 16;
(22) "State Government", in relation to a Union territory, means the Administrator
thereof appointed under article 239 of the Constitution;
(23) "Targeted Public Distribution System" means the system for distribution of
essential commodities to the ration card holders through fair price shops;
(24) "Vigilance Committee" means a committee constituted under section 29 to
supervise the implementation of all schemes under this Act;
(25) the words and expressions not defined here but defined in the Essential
Commodities Act, 1955, or any other relevant Act shall have the meaning respectively
assigned to them in those Acts.

CHAPTER II
PROVISIONS FOR FOOD SECURITY

3. (1) Every person belonging to priority households, identified under sub-section (1)
of section 10, shall be entitled to receive five kilograms of foodgrains per person per month
at subsidised prices specified in Schedule I from the State Government under the Targeted
Public Distribution System:
Provided that the households covered under Antyodaya Anna Yojana shall, to such
extent as may be specified by the Central Government for each State in the said scheme, be
entitled to thirty-five kilograms of foodgrains per household per month at the prices specified
in Schedule I:

Provided further that if annual allocation of foodgrains to any State under the Act is
less than the average annual offtake of foodgrains for last three years under normal Targeted
Public Distribution System, the same shall be protected at prices as may be determined by the
Central Government and the State shall be allocated foodgrains as specified in Schedule IV.
Explanation.— For the purpose of this section, the "Antyodaya Anna Yojana" means,
the scheme by the said name launched by the Central Government on the 25th day of
December, 2000; and as modified from time to time.
(2) The entitlements of the persons belonging to the eligible households referred to in
sub-section (1) at subsidised prices shall extend up to seventy-five per cent. of the rural
population and up to fifty per cent. of the urban population.
(3) Subject to sub-section (1), the State Government may provide to the persons
belonging to eligible households, wheat flour in lieu of the entitled quantity of foodgrains in
accordance with such guidelines as may be specified by the Central Government.
4. Subject to such schemes as may be framed by the Central Government, every
pregnant woman and lactating mother shall be entitled to—
(a) meal, free of charge, during pregnancy and six months after the child birth,
through the local anganwadi, so as to meet the nutritional standards specified in
Schedule II; and
(b) maternity benefit of not less than rupees six thousand, in such instalments as
may be prescribed by the Central Government:
Provided that all pregnant women and lactating mothers in regular employment
with the Central Government or State Governments or Public Sector Undertakings or
those who are in receipt of similar benefits under any law for the time being in force
shall not be entitled to benefits specified in clause (b).

5. (1) Subject to the provisions contained in clause (b), every child up to the age of
fourteen years shall have the following entitlements for his nutritional needs, namely:—
(a) in the case of children in the age group of six months to six years, age
appropriate meal, free of charge, through the local anganwadi so as to meet the
nutritional standards specified in Schedule II:
Provided that for children below the age of six months, exclusive breast feeding
shall be promoted;
(b) in the case of children, up to class VIII or within the age group of six to
fourteen years, whichever is applicable, one mid-day meal, free of charge, everyday,
except on school holidays, in all schools run by local bodies, Government and
Government aided schools, so as to meet the nutritional standards specified in
Schedule II.
(2) Every school, referred to in clause (b) of sub-section (1), and anganwadi shall
have facilities for cooking meals, drinking water and sanitation:
Provided that in urban areas facilities of centralised kitchens for cooking meals may be
used, wherever required, as per the guidelines issued by the Central Government.


Section 6. Prevention and management of child malnutrition.
The State Government shall, through the local anganwadi, identify and provide
meals, free of charge, to children who suffer from malnutrition, so as to meet the nutritional
standards specified in Schedule II.

Section 7. Implementation of schemes for realisation of entitlements.
The State Governments shall implement schemes covering entitlements under
sections 4, 5 and section 6 in accordance with the guidelines, including cost sharing, between
the Central Government and the State Governments in such manner as may be prescribed by
the Central Government.

CHAPTER III
FOOD SECURITY ALLOWANCE
Section 8. Right to receive food security allowance in certain cases.
In case of non-supply of the entitled quantities of foodgrains or meals to entitled
persons under Chapter II, such persons shall be entitled to receive such food security
allowance from the concerned State Government to be paid to each person, within such time
and manner as may be prescribed by the Central Government.

CHAPTER IV
IDENTIFICATION OF ELIGIBLE HOUSEHOLDS
Section 9. Coverage of population under Targeted Public Distribution System.
The percentage coverage under the Targeted Public Distribution System in rural and
urban areas for each State shall, subject to sub-section (2) of section 3, be determined by the
Central Government and the total number of persons to be covered in such rural and urban
areas of the State shall be calculated on the basis of the population estimates as per the
census of which the relevant figures have been published.

Section 10. State Government to prepare guidelines and to identify priority households.
(1) The State Government shall, within the number of persons determined under
section 9 for the rural and urban areas, identify—

(a) the households to be covered under the Antyodaya Anna Yojana to the
extent specified under sub-section (1) of section 3, in accordance with the guidelines
applicable to the said scheme;

(b) the remaining households as priority households to be covered under the
Targeted Public Distribution System, in accordance with such guidelines as the State
Government may specify:

Provided that the State Government may, as soon as possible, but within such
period not exceeding three hundred and sixty-five days, after the commencement of
Nutritional support to children.

Provided further that the State Government shall continue to receive the allocation
of foodgrains from the Central Government under the existing Targeted Public
Distribution System, till the identification of such households is complete.

(2) The State Government shall update the list of eligible households, within the
number of persons determined under section 9 for the rural and urban areas, in accordance
with the guidelines framed under sub-section (1).

11. The State Government shall place the list of the identified eligible households in
the public domain and display it prominently.

CHAPTER V
REFORMS IN TARGETED PUBLIC DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM
12. (1) The Central and State Governments shall endeavour to progressively undertake
necessary reforms in the Targeted Public Distribution System in consonance with the role
envisaged for them in this Act.

Provided further that the State Government shall continue to receive the allocation
of foodgrains from the Central Government under the existing Targeted Public
Distribution System, till the identification of such households is complete.

(2) The State Government shall update the list of eligible households, within the
number of persons determined under section 9 for the rural and urban areas, in accordance
with the guidelines framed under sub-section (1).

11. The State Government shall place the list of the identified eligible households in
the public domain and display it prominently.

CHAPTER V
REFORMS IN TARGETED PUBLIC DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM
12. (1) The Central and State Governments shall endeavour to progressively undertake
necessary reforms in the Targeted Public Distribution System in consonance with the role
envisaged for them in this Act.

(2) Where a household at any time does not have a woman or a woman of eighteen
years of age or above, but has a female member below the age of eighteen years, then, the
eldest male member of the household shall be the head of the household for the purpose of
issue of ration card and the female member, on attaining the age of eighteen years, shall
become the head of the household for such ration cards in place of such male member.

CHAPTER VII
GRIEVANCE REDRESSAL MECHANISM
14. Every State Government shall put in place an internal grievance redressal mechanism
which may include call centres, help lines, designation of nodal officers, or such other
mechanism as may be prescribed.

15. (1) The State Government shall appoint or designate, for each district, an officer to
be the District Grievance Redressal Officer for expeditious and effective redressal of
grievances of the aggrieved persons in matters relating to distribution of entitled foodgrains
or meals under Chapter II, and to enforce the entitlements under this Act.

(2) The qualifications for appointment as District Grievance Redressal Officer and its
powers shall be such as may be prescribed by the State Government.

(3) The method and terms and conditions of appointment of the District Grievance
Redressal Officer shall be such as may be prescribed by the State Government.

(4) The State Government shall provide for the salary and allowances of the District
Grievance Redressal Officer and other staff and such other expenditure as may be considered
necessary for their proper functioning.

(5) The officer referred to in sub-section - (1) shall hear complaints regarding non-distribution of entitled foodgrains or meals, and matters relating thereto, and take necessary
action for their redressal in such manner and within such time as may be prescribed by the
State Government.

(6) Any complainant or the officer or authority against whom any order has been
passed by officer referred to in sub-section (1), who is not satisfied with the redressal of
grievance may file an appeal against such order before the State Commission.

(7) Every appeal under sub-section (6) shall be filed in such manner and within such
time as may be prescribed by the State Government.

Section 16. State Food Commission.
(1) Every State Government shall, by notification, constitute a State Food
Commission for the purpose of monitoring and review of implementation of this Act.

(2) The State Commission shall consist of—
(a) a Chairperson;
(b) five other Members; and
(c) a Member-Secretary, who shall be an officer of the State Government not
below the rank of Joint Secretary to that Government:

Provided that there shall be at least two women, whether Chairperson, Member
or Member-Secretary:

Provided further that there shall be one person belonging to the Scheduled
Castes and one person belonging to the Scheduled Tribes, whether Chairperson,
Member or Member-Secretary.

(3) The Chairperson and other Members shall be appointed from amongst persons—
(a) who are or have been member of the All India Services or any other civil
services of the Union or State or holding a civil post under the Union or State having
knowledge and experience in matters relating to food security, policy making and
administration in the field of agriculture, civil supplies, nutrition, health or any allied
field; or
(b) of eminence in public life with wide knowledge and experience in agriculture,
law, human rights, social service, management, nutrition, health, food policy or public
administration; or
(c) who have a proven record of work relating to the improvement of the food
and nutrition rights of the poor.
(4) The Chairperson and every other Member shall hold office for a term not exceeding
five years from the date on which he enters upon his office and shall be eligible for
reappointment:

Provided that no person shall hold office as the Chairperson or other Member after he
has attained the age of sixty-five years.
(5) The method of appointment and other terms and conditions subject to which the
Chairperson, other Members and Member-Secretary of the State Commission may be
appointed, and time, place and procedure of meetings of the State Commission (including the
quorum at such meetings) and its powers, shall be such as may be prescribed by the State
Government.
(6) The State Commission shall undertake the following functions, namely:—
(a) monitor and evaluate the implementation of this Act, in relation to the
State;
(b) either suo motu or on receipt of complaint inquire into violations of
entitlements provided under Chapter II;
(c) give advice to the State Government on effective implementation of this Act;
(d) give advice to the State Government, their agencies, autonomous bodies as
well as non-governmental organisations involved in delivery of relevant services, for
the effective implementation of food and nutrition related schemes, to enable individuals
to fully access their entitlements specified in this Act;
(e) hear appeals against orders of the District Grievance Redressal Officer;
(f) prepare annual reports which shall be laid before the State Legislature by the
State Government

(7) The State Government shall make available to the State Commission, such
administrative and technical staff, as it may consider necessary for proper functioning of the
State Commission.
(8) The method of appointment of the staff under sub-section (7), their salaries,
allowances and conditions of service shall be such, as may be prescribed by the State
Government.
(9) The State Government may remove from office the Chairperson or any Member
who—
(a) is, or at any time has been, adjudged as an insolvent; or
(b) has become physically or mentally incapable of acting as a member; or
(c) has been convicted of an offence which, in the opinion of the State
Government, involves moral turpitude; or
(d) has acquired such financial or other interest as is likely to affect prejudicially
his functions as a member; or
(e) has so abused his position as to render his continuation in office detrimental
to the public interest.
(10) No such Chairperson or Member shall be removed under clause (d) or clause (e)
of sub-section (9) unless he has been given a reasonable opportunity of being heard in the
matter.