Govt directs States/UTs to include all disabled persons under food law

New Delhi (NVI): The Central government today issued directions to States/UTs to include all eligible disabled persons under the National Food Security Act 2013.

The Department of Food and Public Distribution under Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution has written to all States/UTs to provide subsidised foodgrains to all eligible disabled persons under the National Food Security Act (NFSA).

“Section 38 of the Act mandates that the Central Government may from time to time give directions to the State Governments for effective implementation if the provisions of the Act,” the Ministry said in a statement.

The department has asked the state government to make sure all such persons covered under the National Food Security Act 2013 and they get their entitled quota of food grains under NFSA & PMGKAY as per provisions of the Act.

It is stated that those not already covered should be covered with fresh ration cards to be issued as per the eligibility criteria. It is also reiterated that disability is one of the criteria for inclusion of beneficiaries under AAY households and as disabled persons are vulnerable section of the society.

The letter further advised that it is imperative that they are also covered by States/UTs under the priority households as per the criteria of identification evolved by them.

“The Section 10 of the National Food Security Act, 2013 provides for coverage of persons under the Antyodaya Anna Yojana in accordance with the guidelines applicable to the said scheme and the remaining households as priority households in accordance with such guidelines as the States Government may specify,” read an official statement.

At present, the Atma Nirbhar Bharat Package of the Government is for the persons, who are not covered either under NFSA or any States Scheme PDS Cards.

Hence, the disabled persons without ration cards are also eligible for getting benefits under Atma Nirbhar Bharat package.

Since this scheme would lapse on August 31,2020 and there is still one week left for this, the Department requested to all States/UTs, that they may identify such disabled persons who do not have ration cards and provide them benefits under Atma Nirbhar Bharat Package, the ministry said.

The letter also mentioned that the scheme started in May 2020 and it was presumed that all eligible beneficiaries without ration cards including the disabled should have been covered. It is understood that the ration lifted so far has been utilized by the States for distributing to eligible beneficiaries without ration cards including the disabled.

-ARK