Centre asks States, UTs to cover eligible disabled persons under NFSA

NEW DELHI, Aug 25:
The Centre on Tuesday said it has asked all chief secretaries of states and Union Territories to ensure coverage of eligible disabled persons under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) on a mission mode.
Food Secretary Sudhanshu Pandey has written to all chief secretaries, requesting them to “personally intervene” in the matter.
“The Secretary has sent letters to Chief Secretaries of all States and Union Territories requesting them to ensure that all eligible disabled persons are included under the NFSA,” an official statement said.
The Chief Secretaries have been asked to direct the concerned departments, especially district administrations to ensure that appropriate mechanism is put in place and the whole machinery is mobilised in “mission mode” for compliance of directions issued by the Union Food Ministry, it said.
Under the NFSA, the Government provides highly subsidised foodgrains of 5 kg per person to over 81 crore poor beneficiaries at Rs 1-3 per kg. These beneficiaries are also given additional 5 kg of free grains under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) implemented to tide over the COVI-19-induced hardships.
Earlier too, the Union Food Ministry had issued directives to cover disabled persons under the NFSA and PMGKAY.
The letter dated August 20 stated that those not already covered to be issued with fresh ration cards as per the eligibility criteria.
“It is also reiterated that disability is one of the criteria for inclusion of beneficiaries under AAY (Antyodaya Anna Yojana) households and as disabled persons are a 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,” it said.
Section 38 of the NFSA mandates that the Central Government may from time to time give directions to the states for effective implementation of the provisions of the Act. (PTI)

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