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 March 4, 2016

The Food Security Act, 2013 also called Right to Food Act aims to provide subsidized food grains to approximately two thirds of India’s 1.2 billion people. It includes the Midday Meal Scheme, Integrated Child Development Services scheme and the Public Distribution System. Under the Public Distribution System, beneficiaries are entitled to 5kiligrams per person per month of cereals at the following prices

1. Rice at Rs 3/- per kg.
2. Wheat at Rs 2/- per kg.
3. Coarse grains at Re 1/- per kg.

Uttar Pradesh has decided to implement the Food Security Act with an aim to benefit more than 15.21 crore people in the state. According to Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, the act will be implemented in three phases.

1. In the first phase, the scheme will be implemented in 24 districts.
2. In the second phase, it will be rolled out in 26 districts..
3. In the third, it will be implemented in 25 districts

Until now, families under the ‘Antyodaya Yojna’ scheme were being benefited. The law has been already implemented in 28 districts from January 1. Now the districts being benefited include Etawah, Mainpuri, Amroha, Agra, Auraiyya, Baghpat, Basti, Bijnore, Bulandshahr, Farukkhabad, Firozabad, Noida, Ghaziabad, Jalaun, Hapur, Jhansi, Kannauj, Kanpur city, Kanpur rural, Lucknow, Mathura, Lalitpur, Meerut, Sant Kabeernagar, Siddhartthanagar, Mahoba, Amirpur, and Chitrakoot. The complete implementation of the act will happen by April as some real time data at some districts are yet to be compiled.

The provisions, benefits and some special facts of the Act are as under:

1. Around 15.21 crore people in the targeted districts will receive 5 kilograms of subsidised rice or wheat per person per month.
2. Under the provisions of the bill, 75 per cent of the rural population and 50 per cent of the urban population are entitled to 5 kilograms of food grains per month, for three years from enactment.
3. As per this act, pregnant women, lactating mothers, and certain categories of children are eligible for daily free meals.
4. The central government provides funds to states in case of short supplies of food grains.
5. The poorest that are covered under the Antyodaya Yojna are entitled to the 35 kilograms of grains allotted to them under the scheme.
6. The Act also includes the Midday Meal (MDM) Scheme, Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme and Public Distribution System (PDS) under it, to provide subsidised food grains.

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