Tripura to implement food safety act with more sops

Agartala, Aug 28 (IANS) The Left Front government in Tripura has decided to introduce the National Food Security Act (NFSA) from September 1 with more sops, a minister said here on Friday.

Under the NFSA, which came into force on July 5, 2013 under the then Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government, each eligible person would get 5 kg of foodgrain a month – rice at Rs.3 per kg, wheat for Rs.2 per kg and coarse cereals at Re.1 per kg – through the state governments.

The NFSA entitles up to 75 percent of the rural population and up to 50 percent of the urban population to receive foodgrain at subsidised prices.

“From September 1, under NFSA, we would provide rice at the rate of Rs.2 per kg instead of Rs.3 per kg as stipulated in the act,” Food and Civil Supplies Minister Bhanulal Saha told reporters.

He said: “According to the NFSA, only priority households and extremely poor families are entitled to get subsidised food grains. However, we have decided to continue TPDS (Targeted Public Distribution System) to all 969,000 ration card holders comprising priority and non-priority households. The non-priority households would not get any subsidy in the food grains.”

To provide food grain subsidy for priority households, the additional annual expenditure from the state government exchequer would be Rs.16.73 crore.

The minister said that the families belonging to above poverty line or non-priority households, which are outside the ambit of NFSA, would be provided rice at the rate of Rs.13 per kg and 5 kg per head per month subject to maximum 15 kg a family instead of the existing 20 kg a family per month. This is non-subsidised rate.

“In the entire eastern and north-eastern region of India, Tripura wpuld become the first state implementing the NFSA,” Saha added.

The NFSA was passed by parliament in 2013 and the deadline for implementing the same has been extended thrice.

According to a central government report, the NFSA has been implemented by 13 states and two union territories only.

To implement the NFSA, the entire TPDS system has to be computerised and the ration cards must be digitised.

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