National Food Security Bill

Who Thinks What About the Proposed National Food Security Bill?


Government Bill Draft:

  • Covers Below Poverty Line (BPL) families

  • Defines women as head of household

  • Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) to allocate the grain

  • Ensures 25 kg of food grains for Rs. 3 per kilo to each family per month

  • Central Government responsible for identifying poverty levels and allocating food or money to state governments

  • State Governments responsible for the implementation and monitoring of the resources

  • Panchayati Raj institutions and the formation of vigilance committees

    The National Advisory Council’s (NAC) recommendations:

  • Should ensure subsidised food grains for minimum 75 % of the population

  • Should include a division of “priority households” and “general households”

  • Priority households: monthly entitlement of 35 kg at a subsidised price of Rs. 1 a kg for millets, Rs. 2 a kg for wheat and Rs. 3 a kg for rice.

  • General households: monthly entitlement of 20 kg at a price not exceeding 50 % of the current Minimum Support Price for the three grains.


National Binding Obligations:

  • Article 47 of Indian constitution: Duty of the State to raise the level of nutrition and the standard of living and to improve public health

  • Article 21 of Indian Constitution: Protection of Life and Personal Liberty

  • The National Human Rights Act 1993: to respect, protect and promote human rights in India

    India: Signatory of International Human Rights Agreements:

  • UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948): right to adequate standard of living

  • The Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1979): right to adequate food and freedom from hunger

  • Convention on the Rights of the Child (1992)

  • Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (1993)

  • Millennium Development Goals (2000): halve the proportion of people living with hunger by 2015

  • FAO (2004)
    Right to Food Guidelines:
    Freedom from hunger and right to food


FIAN – Fighting Hunger with Human Right and civil society groups:

The Bill:

  • Must be universal

  • Must contain the provision of nutritionally adequate food. A purely quantitative provision do not cover a human being’s needs

  • Must provide more than 25 kg of grain per household

  • Must ensure government responsibility for securing people’s livelihood

  • Must ensure government responsibility for allocating the necessary resources

  • Must ensure 80 % local food production – reduce wastage

  • Must secure farmers’ right to land and protect land from non-agricultural use and private investments

  • Must ensure government responsibility for securing people’s livelihoods. This involve producing food indigenously, adequate wages and full employment to all and access to production resources

  • Must institute a national monitoring mechanism – linked to prime minister’s office
  • Must set up a special authority, commission or courts with responsibility of monitoring the implementation of rights and entitlements



Read more about the proposed Bill, food security in India and national and international laws and treaties under the heading “the Right to Food”.

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