Home   »   UPSC Syllabus 2024   »   National Food Security Act (NFSA)

National Food Security Act (NFSA)

Context: The Union Cabinet has decided to provide free foodgrains to all 81 crore beneficiaries covered under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) for one year starting January 2023.

National Food Security Act (NFSA) News

  • New changes: The beneficiaries will now get 35kg of foodgrains free for the next one year and others will get 5kg for free in a month till December 2023.
    • The Centre has estimated an additional amount of Rs 2 lakh crore for the scheme.
  • Merger of PMGKAY: The center has also decided to discontinue the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) and it has now been merged with the NFSA.


About the National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013

  • Launch: The Union government had notified the National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013 on 10th September, 2013.
  • Objective: To provide for food and nutritional security in human life cycle approach, by ensuring access to adequate quantity of quality food at affordable prices to people to live a life with dignity.
  • Implementing agency: The Act provides for State Food Commission (SFC) in every State/UT, for the purpose of monitoring and review of implementation of the Act.
  • Salient features of the NFSA, 2013:


  • 75% of the rural population and upto 50% of the urban population will receive subsidized foodgrains under Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS).
  • Overall, NFSA caters to 67% of the total population.

Beneficiaries and Entitlement

There are two categories of beneficiary households under the NFSA:

  • Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY): The AAY households are entitled to 35 kg of foodgrains per month irrespective of the number of family members.
  • The Priority Households: The priority households get food grains depending on the number of family members (each member 5 kg per month).
  • The identification of eligible households is to be done by States/UTs.
  • The beneficiaries will be provided with foodgrains at subsidized prices of Rs. 3/2/1 per kg for rice, wheat and coarse grains under TPDS.

Nutritional Support to women and children

  • Pregnant women and lactating mothers and children (6-14 years) will be entitled to meals as per prescribed nutritional norms under Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) and Mid-Day Meal (MDM) schemes.
  • Higher nutritional norms have been prescribed for malnourished children upto 6 years of age.

Maternity Benefit

  • Pregnant women and lactating mothers will also be entitled to receive maternity benefit of not less than Rs. 6,000.

Women Empowerment

  • Eldest woman of the household of age 18 years or above to be the head of the household for the purpose of issuing of ration cards.

Assistance by Central Government

  • Central Government will provide assistance to States in meeting the expenditure incurred by them on transportation of foodgrains within the State, its handling and FPS dealers’ margin as per norms to be devised for this purpose.

Food Security Allowance

  • Provision for food security allowance to entitled beneficiaries in case of non-supply of entitled foodgrains or meals.


About the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY)

  • Launch: It is a food security welfare scheme announced by the Government of India in March 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic in India.
    • It was announced as a part of the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana, which is a comprehensive relief package of Rs 1.70 Lakh Crore for the poor to help them fight the battle against Coronavirus.
  • Implementing agency: The program is operated by the Department of Food and Public Distribution under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.
  • Objective: It is aimed at providing free foodgrains5 kg per person per month — to eligible beneficiaries of the National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013. This is over and above their monthly entitlement under the NFSA.
  • How is the PM-GKAY different from the NFSA?
    • The NFSA is a right-based scheme under a law of Parliament, while the PMGKAY is a scheme announced by the executive as a top-up to the entitlements under the NFSA.
    • The PM-GKAY provides additional benefits to NFSA beneficiaries, but does not cover additional beneficiaries beyond the accepted limit of 81.35 crore persons under the NFSA.

The Merger of PMGKAY and NFSA

  • The discontinuation and merger of PMGKAY comes at a time when the foodgrains stock has depleted over the months.
  • The free portion of PMGKAY scheme has been added to the NFSA. Now, the entire quantity of 5 kg and 35 kg under the NFSA would be available free of cost.
  • Significance of the merger:
    • With this decision, for the first time, India will have a Central food security legislation which gives the poor a ‘right’ to receive 5 kg foodgrains free of cost. Earlier, the poor paid a small price of Rs 3 per kg for rice and Rs 2 per kg for wheat.
    • The decision softens the blow the poor may suffer with the PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana being discontinued by the end of the month.
    • Discontinuing the PMGKAY would, however, save the government Rs 15,000 crore a month or about Rs 1.8 lakh crore a year.


Sharing is caring!

Download your free content now!


We have received your details!

We'll share General Studies Study Material on your E-mail Id.

Download your free content now!

We have already received your details!

We'll share General Studies Study Material on your E-mail Id.

Incorrect details? Fill the form again here

General Studies PDF

Thank You, Your details have been submitted we will get back to you.