The Food and Agriculture Organisation known as FAO of United Nations leads the international endeavours to eradicate hunger and improving the nutrition and standard of living by means of improvised agriculture productivity. Being oldest permanent special agency of United Nation established in October’1945 with an objective to act as a neutral forum, treating all nations as equals to negotiate arguments and debate policy.
FAO’s Co-operation in India is contributing on four priorities i.e. sustainable agricultural development, Food and Nutrition Security, Trans- boundary Co-operation, Gender and climate changes as cross cutting issues wherever applicable. In recent years support for livelihood and sustainable water, management of water soil and other natural resources management have occupied centre stage followed by crops and live stock, food security information system and fisheries.
Following the international aim so delineated by the FAO the fiduciary of United Nations, the Govt. of India has also brought in force the National Food Security Act 2013 (also known as Right to Food Act) aimed to provide subsidized food grains to about two third population of India which was though enacted on September 12 in 2013, but retroactive from July 5, 2013.
One of the guiding principles of the Act is its life cycle approach where in special provisions have been made for pregnant women, and lactating mothers and children in the age group of 6 month to 14 years by entitling them to receive nutritious meal free of cost through a wide spread network of Integrated Child Development Service centre (ICDS) also called Anganwadi. In case of non supply of entitled quantities of food grains or meals to the concerned, they are entitled to receive such food security allowance from the concerned State Govt. to be paid to each person within such time may be prescribed by the Central Govt. under the Law.
The Govt. of India, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution system, to meet with the basic concept of Food security globly and to ensure that all people, at all time should get access to the basic food for their entailments, apart from the provisions of food through ICDS centre or Mid day meals through education Department, further ensured grains and food commodities of subscribed class of people at the rates so fixed i.e Rice at the rate of Rs 3 per kg, Atta at Rupes 2 per kg besides wheat or course grains at Rs1 per kg. Like wise in case of general class called “AAY” house- holds 35 kg for each house-hold at the guaranteed cost of Central Govt. i.e Rupees 6.10 per kg and rice @ Rs 8.30 per kg for nearest Rail Head or the Godowns of F.C.I as the case may be. It was further provided that the Govt. of India will also provide assistance in shape of funds to the States to meet with the expenses of intra-state transportation, handling charges of such commodities including storage and the margin of Fair Price Shop Dealers as per norms devised for the purpose.
Interest-tingly as is apparent from the information displayed by the Press Information Bureau, Govt. of India, Ministry for Consumer Affairs Food Security and Public Distribution system during the year 2018-19 up to 5.12.2018 the funds of Rs 2575 cr up to 5.12.2018 stood released by the Govt. of India to the State Govt. as assistance to meet the expenditure of the intra state movement and handling of Food grains as well as fair price shop dealers margin. All such prices, procedures, margins and reliefs are mutatis mutandis applicable in case of J&K.
In J&K State, also, the National Food Security Act 2013 came into force and got allocation of food grains from July’2016 onward vide No CAPD/Plan/03/IV/2009-II dated 29-06-2016 and Govt. order no 74-CAPD of 2016 dated 20.4.2016 and Govt. order No 74-CAPD of 2016 dated 20.4.2016 and guidelines issued vide circular No 01-CAPD of 2016 dated 17-02-2016. The allocation of food grains of State of J&K from Feb. 2016 vide no CAPD/Plan/03/IV/20-9-11 dated 17-2-2016. Notification dated 17-8-2015, Food Security (Assistance to State Govt.) Rules 2015 besides other orders, completion certificate of the Deputy Commissions of the state were also sought for.
The State Govt. sinces the year as aforesaid i.e 2016 although is getting food grains for subsidized categories viz Rice at the rate of 3 per kg, Atta at the rate of Rs 2 per kg and grains at the rate of Re1 per kg besides for AAY category Rice at Rs 8.30 per kg, wheat at the rate of Rs 6-10 per kg but has notified the issue rate to the consumers i.e Rs 2 for Atta and Rs 3 per kg for Rice in case of Subscribed rate but where as for AAY category Atta is being supplied at the rate of Rs 13 per kg and rice at the rate of Rs 15 per kg, that means the Consumer Affairs and by the Public Distribution Department in J&K is charging highly exorbitant prices of grains under Food Security Act for AAY category. Although the State Govt. is also getting financial assistance from the Govt. of India for Intra movement with in the state as well as the storage and handling Charges apart from the margin of Fair Price shop Dealer. It is a cruel joke with the rank and file of the State of J&K who have-been deceived in the name of Food Security. The Govt of J&K is this oblige to answer as to why such exorbitent prices are levied from consumers.