ri  lt re and ood      ana ement       8.49
     Public Distribution by end-December 2013.                     (v) The Act provisions state and district level
     India’s most ambitious and world’s largest social                 redressal mechanism with designated
     welfare programme provides legal right to about 82                officers. The states will be allowed to
     crore people for subsidised foodgrains—a historic                 use the existing machinery for District
     initiative towards ensuring food and nutritional                  Grievance Redressal Officer (DGRO),
     security. Major highlights of the programme are                   State Food Commission, if they so desire,
     as given below:                                                   to save expenditure on establishment of
                                                                       new redressal set up. It also provides for
           (i) It will cover upto 75 per cent rural and
                                                                       penalty on public servants or authority, if
               50 per cent urban population (around
                                                                       found guilty of failing to comply with the
               two thirds of the total popultion) with                 relief recommended by the DGRO.
               uniform entitlement of 5 kg foodgrains
                                                                  (vi) Provisions have also been made
               per month at highly subsidised prices
                                                                       for disclosure of records relating to
               of Rs. 3, Rs. 2 and Rs. 1 per kg for rice,
                                                                       PDS, social audits and setting up of
               wheat and coarse grains, respectively. The
                                                                       Vigilance Committees in order to ensure
               poorest of poor households continue to                  transparency and accountability.
               receive 35 kg foodgrains per household
                                                                    The work of identification of eligible
               per month under the Antyodaya Anna
                                                              households is left to the states/UTs, which may
               Yojna at the same subsidised prices.
                                                              frame their own criteria or use Social Economic
          (ii) It provisions for special focus on nutritional and Caste Census (SECC) data, if they so desire.
               support to women and children—pregnant         The central government will provide funds to
               women and lactating mothers, besides           states/UTs in case of short supply of food grains
               being entitled to nutritious meals as per      from the central pool. In case of non-supply
               the prescribed nutritional norms will also     of food grains or meals to entitled persons, the
               receive maternity benefit of at least of       concerned state/UT governments will be required
               Rs. 6,000. Children in the age group of        to provide such food security allowance as may
               6 months to 14 years will be entitled to       be prescribed by the central government to the
               take home ration or hot cooked food as         beneficiaries. In order to address the concern of the
               per prescribed nutritional norms.              states regarding additional financial burden, The
        (iii) Eldest woman of eighteen years of age or        central government will provide assistance to the
               above will be head of the household for        states towards cost of intra-state transportation,
               issue of ration card, and if not available,    handling of foodgrains and FPS dealers’ margin,
               the eldest male member is to be the head       for which norms will be developed. This will ensure
               of the household.                              timely transportation and efficient handling of
         (iv) For effective implementation, the Act           foodgrains.
               also contains provisions for reforms                 While enacting the Act, the Ministry
               in PDS through doorstep delivery of            estimated an annual foodgrains requirement of
               foodgrains, application of information         61.23 MT, which will accrue estimated food
               and communication technology (ICT)             subsidy of Rs.1,24,724 crore. Meanwhile, a High
               including end-to-end computerisation,          Level Committee (headed by Shanta Kumar), by
               leveraging ‘Aadhaar’ for identification        early 2015, suggested the Government of India
               of beneficiaries, diversification of           to revise the covergare population under the Act
               commodities under TPDS, etc.                   from 67 to 40 per cent. The recommendation was