Recently, the Food and Public Distribution Secretary convened a meeting of State Food Commissions (SFCs) to review the implementation of the National Food Security Act (NFSA)
What is the mechanism for addressing the grievances and monitoring under the NFSA 2013?
As per NFSA, the following system has been evolved to monitor and redress grievances.
- Internal grievance redressal mechanism: As per Section 14 of the NFSA, every State Government shall put in place an internal grievance redressal mechanism which may include toll free call centres, State web portal, help lines, designation of nodal officers or such other mechanism as may be prescribed.
- District Grievance Redressal Officer (DGRO): As per Section 15 of the NFSA, the State Government shall appoint or designate an officer to be District Grievance Redressal Officer (DGRO) for each district for expeditious and effective redressal of grievances of the aggrieved persons in matters relating to distribution of entitled foodgrains under TPDS and prescribe the qualification, power, terms and conditions of the office of the DGROs.
- State Food Commission (SFC): As per Section 16 of NFSA, for the purpose of monitoring and review of implementation of NFSA, every State shall, by notification, constitute a State Food Commission (SFC).
- Further as per sub-Clause 8 under Clause 11 of TPDS (Control) Order, 2015 an appeal against the order of the DGRO shall be preferred before the SFC constituted under NFSA.
As per Section 29(1) of the NFSA, for ensuring transparency and proper functioning of the TPDS and accountability of the functionaries in such system, every State Government was to set up Vigilance Committees (VCs) at the State, District, Block and FPS levels
Further, this has also been mentioned in Sub-clause (6) under Clause 11 of TPDS (Control) Order 2015. The State Governments had to send a report annually to the Central Government on the functioning of vigilance committees
Monitoring by the States
- As per Clause 8 of the TPDS (Control) Order, 2001, the State Governments shall ensure regular inspections of fair price shops not less than once in six months by the designated authority.
- State Governments may issue orders specifying the inspection schedule, list of checkpoints and the authority responsible for ensuring compliance with the said orders
Role of the Union Ministry in monitoring under NFSA
Under 18 Clause 11 of TPDS (Control) Order, 2015, the Ministry monitors the grievance redressal mechanism by requiring the States/UTs to report at the end of each quarter the number of unsettled/outstanding grievances at the level of call centres, State portal and DGRO
National Food Security Act(NFSA) 2013
- The NFSA aims to provide subsidized food grains to approximately two thirds of India’s 1.2 billion people.
- The National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA 2013) converts into legal entitlements for existing food security programmes of the Government of India.
- It includes the Midday Meal Scheme, Integrated Child Development Services scheme and the Public Distribution System.
- Further, the NFSA 2013 recognizes maternity entitlements.