J&K Food Security Rules notified

J&K Food Security Rules notified
The rules have been made in exercise of powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 40 of the National Food Security Act. 2013.GK Photo

Jammu: The government has notified ‘Jammu and Kashmir Food Security Rules, 2021.’

The rules have been made in exercise of powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 40 of the National Food Security Act. 2013. The rules have come into effect from the date of their publication in the official gazette.

The priority households to be covered under the targeted Public Distribution System (PDS) to receive the entitlement under sub section(l) of Section 3 of the Act in both urban and rural areas will be all Antyodaya Anna Yojana families; households without shelter; households with destitute person who is living on alms; household headed by a widow or a single woman (unmarried or separated or deserted); households headed by differently-abled persons or Individual having disability of above forty percent or terminally ill.

Transgender person; a household headed by minor or orphan; households dependent on daily wage labour and household with old persons, aged sixty years or above with no regular income, support or no assured means of subsistence and other vulnerable households such as slum dwellers, rag-pickers, unskilled workers, Shikarawalas, ponywalas, domestic workers and sweepers etc too will fall under the purview of priority households in both urban and rural areas.

As per a notification issued by the J&K Department of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs, if all earning adult members in a household are irregular wagers, then that household will also be included under the priority households in urban areas.

In case of rural areas, the households dependent on agricultural labourers; tribal households with no regular source of income and potters, cobblers among other vulnerable households will also be eligible for benefits for priority households under the Act.

However, the households with at least one member as income or professional tax payer; businessmen having business turnover of Rs 25 lakh per year; persons having land holding above 10 kanals in case of individuals and 20 kanals in case of joint family in urban areas will not be covered under the Act. In rural areas this ceiling will be 30 kanals and 50 kanals respectively. The criteria will be based on self declarations, the rules specify.

All gazetted officers or equivalent rank in corporations, boards. PSUs etc;, all persons holding constitutional authority or positions and any household having annual family income of more than Rs five lakh too will remain excluded as far as benefits under the Act are concerned.

All the households, which are not included in either of these criteria groups, will be included in ‘Non Priority Category’, says the notification.

The government, as per the rules, reserves a “right to fully or partially amend these eligibility criteria any time as and when deemed necessary or on the instructions or guidelines or orders of the Government of India.” The classification of households specified will also be subject to any “uniform guidelines issued by the Government of India in respect of any category.”

The rules also provide for the constitution of “State Food Commission” as per provisions of Section 16 of the Act by a notification by the government or “if considers it necessary, by notification, designate any other statutory commission or a body to exercise the powers and perform the functions of the State food Commission.”

The chairperson, other members and the member-secretary of the State Food Commission will be appointed by the government on the recommendation of the Search Committee headed by the Chief Secretary, the rules specify. The State Food Commission will be responsible for expenditure for the funds received by it for the purposes of the implementation of the Act.

The rules also provided for a proper grievance redressal mechanism. Besides, they also provide for the Vigilance Committee at fair price shop level, block level, district level and state level.

The government may choose to assign such duties at district, tehsil and village level to the Panchayats which in its opinion, cannot be conveniently carried out by existing arrangements of service delivery. The government may assign such duties in municipal areas to the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) which in its opinion cannot be conveniently carried out by existing arrangements of service delivery.

These Vigilance Committees constituted under rule 21 will conduct the periodic social audit covering overall functioning of the ‘Targeted Public Distribution.’

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