“Quelle sécurité alimentaire en Inde?” – Résumé du NFSA 2013

Summary of the National Food Security Act 2013

(as passed in the Lok Sabha on 26/8/13)

By Jean DREZE 

The Act extends to the whole of India and “shall be deemed to have come into force on the 5th day of July 2013”. [NB: This is the date when the National Food Security Ordinance 2013 came into force.]

2. Entitlements

Public Distribution System (PDS)

Priority households are entitled to 5 kgs of foodgrains per person per month, and Antyodaya households to 35 kgs per household per month. The combined coverage of Priority and Antyodaya households (called “eligible households”) shall extend “up to 75% of the rural population and up to 50% of the urban population”. The PDS issue prices are given in Schedule I: Rs 3/2/1 per kg for rice/wheat/millets. These may be revised after three years.

Children’s Entitlements

For children in the age group of 6 months to 6 years: an age-appropriate meal, free of charge, through the local anganwadi. For children aged 6-14 years: one free mid-day meal every day (except on school holidays) in all government and government-aided shools, up to Class VIII. For children below six months, “exclusive breastfeeding shall be promoted”. For children who suffer from malnutrition, meals will be provided to them free of charge “through the local anganwadi”.

Entitlements of Pregnant and Lactating Women

Every pregnant and lactating mother is entitled to a free meal at the local anganwadi (during pregnancyand six months after child birth) as well as maternity benefits of Rs 6,000, in instalments.

[Notes: (1) “Meal” is defined as “hot cooked or pre-cooked and heated before its service meal or take home ration, as may be prescribed by the Central Government”. All “meals” have to meet nutritional norms specified in Schedule II. (2) The entitlements of women and children are to be delivered by state governments through schemes in accordance with guidelines to be prescribed by the Central Government.]

3. Identification of Eligible Households

The Act does not specify criteria for the identification of households eligible for PDS entitlements. The Central Government is to determine the state-wise coverage of the PDS (proportion of the rural/urban population). Then numbers of eligible persons will be calculated from Census population figures. The identification of eligible households is left to state governments, subject to the scheme’s guidelines for Antyodaya, and subject to guidelines to be “specified” by the state government for Priority households. The identification of eligible households is to be completed within 365 days. The lists of eligible households are to be placed in the public domain and “displayed prominently”.

4. Food Commissions

The Act provides for the creation of State Food Commissions. The main function of the State Commission is to monitor the implementation of the Act, give advice to the states governments and their agencies, and inquire into violations of entitlements. State Commissions also have to hear appeals against orders of the District Grievance Redressal Officer and prepare annual reports.

5. Transparency and Grievance Redressal

The Act provides for a two-tier grievance redressal structure, involving the District Grievance Redressal Officer (DGRO) and State Food Commission. State governments must also put in place an internal grievance redressal mechanism which may include call centres, help lines, etc.

Transparency Provisions

Mandatory transparency provisions include: (1) placing all PDS-related records in the public domain; (2) conducting periodic social audits of the PDS and other welfare schemes; (3) using information and communication technology “to ensure transparent recording of transactions at all levels”; (4) setting up vigilance committees at all levels to supervise all schemes under the Act.

District Grievance Redressal Officers

DGROS shall be appointed by state governments for each district to hear complaints and take necessary action according to norms to be prescribed by state governments. If a complainant is not satisfied, he or she may file an appeal before the State Food Commission.

Penalties and Compensation

The Food Commissions have powers to impose penalties. If an order of the DGRO is not complied with, the concerned authority or officer can be fined up to Rs. 5,000. The Commission can authorise “any of its members” to act as an adjudicating officer for this purpose.In case of “non-supply of the entitled quantities of foodgrains or meals to entitled persons”, such persons will be entitled to a food security allowance from the state government, as prescribed by the central government.

6. Other Provisions

PDS Reforms

In Chapter V, the Act states that central and state governments “shall endeavour to progressively undertake” various PDS reforms, including: doorstep delivery of foodgrains; end-to-end computerisation; leveraging “aadhaar” (UID) for unique identification of entitled beneficiaries; full transparency of records; preference to public institutions or bodies in licensing of fair price shops; management of fair price shops by women or their collectives; diversification of commodities distributed under the PDS; full transparency of records; and “introducing schemes such as cash transfer, food coupons or other schemes to the targeted beneficiaries in order to ensure their foodgrain entitlements” as prescribed by the central government.

Obligations of Government and Local Authorities

The main obligation of the Central Government is to provide foodgrains (or, failing that, funds) to state governments, at prices specified in Schedule I, to implement the main entitlements. The Central Government has wide-ranging powers to make Rules “in consultation with the state government”.

The main obligation of state governments is to implement the relevant schemes, in accordance with the Central Government guidelines. State governments also have wide-ranging powers to make Rules. They are free to extend benefits and entitlements beyond what is prescribed in the Act, from their own resources.

Local Authorities and Panchayati Raj Institutions are responsible for proper implementation of the Act in their respective areas, and may be given additional responsibilities by notification.

7. Schedules

The Act has four schedules (these can be amended “by notification”). Schedule I prescribes issue prices for the PDS. Schedule II prescribes “nutritional standards” for midday meals, take-home rations and related entitlements. Schedule III lists various “provisions for advancing food security”. Schedule IV specifies a minimum foodgrain allocation for each state; in the case of states that might lose otherwise under the Act, this essentially means a continuing of existing allocations.

 

“Quelle sécurité alimentaire en Inde?” – NFSA 2013

“An Act 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 and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.”

Available online : The National Food Security Act, 2013

“Quelle Sécurité alimentaire en Inde?”

Affiche AFUI - illustration

Le 10 septembre 2013, le Président de la République indienne a promulgué la loi sur la Sécurité Alimentaire, un des programmes phares de la politique sociale du gouvernement du parti du Congrès, qui affrontera les élections générales au printemps 2014.

Ce programme consacrera environ 4 milliards de dollars par an pour fournir à une large part de la population des grains alimentaires à prix réduits. Il s’inscrit dans une longue pratique de « système de distribution publique », appuyée sur quelque 500 000 boutiques spécialisées, qui a connu des hauts et des bas depuis la politique de réformes lancées en 1991 par Manmohan Singh, alors ministre des Finances, et Premier Ministre depuis 2004. De nombreux débats ont marqué la préparation de cette loi, portant tant sur son ampleur que sur ses modalités d’application.

La « machinerie alimentaire » de l’Inde, la plus importante au monde dans ce domaine, répond au premier des Objectifs du Millénaire définis par l’ONU : « Eliminer l’extrême pauvreté et la faim ». L’Inde émergente est à cet égard dans une situation paradoxale, puisque sa montée en puissance et la hausse continue de la production agricole depuis la « révolution verte » à partir de 1965 n’empêchent pas la persistance d’une malnutrition considérable, et une crise de l’agriculture frappant les petits paysans endettés.

L’enjeu de la modernisation de l’agriculture et de sa commercialisation est l’objet de débats intenses dans le pays : c’est aussi un enjeu pour nombre d’entreprises françaises ayant investi ou voulant investir en Inde, dans le domaine agricole comme dans celui de la grande distribution.

L’Association France-Union Indienne, fondée en 1956, organise ce colloque sur la sécurité alimentaire en Inde, avec la Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, en partenariat avec l’Université Paris Ouest-Nanterre (LAVUE) et le Centre d’Etudes de l’Inde et de l’Asie du Sud (CNRS-EHESS). Cette initiative bénéficie d’un financement de la Région Ile de France.

Le colloque regroupera des intervenants indiens et français. Ne pouvant être présent,  le « père de la révolution verte » indienne, M.S. Swaminathan a envoyé un message. Parmi les intervenants indiens, on notera la présence de Jean Drèze, co-auteur avec le prix Nobel Amartya Sen d’un ouvrage publié à Princeton cette année :  An Uncertain Glory. India and its Contradictions. Drèze et Sen avaient déjà publié ensemble un ouvrage sur la faim et les politiques publiques en 1989, et un autre sur le développement participatif en 2002. Interviendra également Palagumi Sainath, le responsable des affaires agricoles du grand quotidien indien The Hindu, qui a joué un rôle décisif dans la prise de conscience des difficultés de la petite paysannerie endettée et poussée au suicide. De grandes ou moyennes entreprises françaises travaillant en Inde seront représentées.

L’objectif de ce colloque n’est pas d’ajouter aux vieux clichés de l’Inde misérable, mais bien d’éclairer un enjeu décisif, et reconnu comme tel par le gouvernement indien, en éclairant l’articulation entre politiques sociales et politiques de modernisation dans un pays qui compte aujourd’hui 1,2 milliard d’habitants et qui devrait devenir, d’ici quinze à vingt ans, le plus peuplé de la planète.

 Vendredi 15 novembre 2013 Centre Sèvres,  35 bis rue de Sèvres, 75006 Paris

8h30 – 18h30