a very interesting compilation by Indian Coordination Committee of Farmers Movements
Revised version, as tabled in Parliament on 22 March 2013. Read full text of the Bill (Download PDF).
The Bill seeks “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 and incidental thereto”.
It extends to the whole of India and “shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette appoint, and different dates may be appointed for different States and different provisions of this Act”.
Public Distribution System (TPDS)
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 for rice/wheat/millets (actually called “coarse grains” in the Bill). These may be revised after three years.
For children in the age group of 6 months to 6 years, the Bill guarantees an age-appropriate meal, free of charge, through the local anganwadi. For children aged 6-14 years, one free mid-day meal shall be provided every day (except on school holidays) in all schools run by local bodies, government and government aided schools, up to Class VIII. For children below six months, “exclusive breastfeeding shall be promoted”.
Children who suffer from malnutrition will be identified through the local anganwadi and 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 pregnancy and six months after child birth) as well as maternity benefits of Rs 6,000, in instalments.
[Notes: (1) “Meal” is defined in the Bill as “hot cooked meal or ready to eat 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 the guidelines, including cost sharing” to be prescribed by the Central Government. (3) Every school and anganwadi is to have “facilities for cooking meals, drinking water and sanitation”. (4) For purposes of issuing ration cards, the eldest woman in the household (not less than 18 years of age) shall be considered head of the household.]
3. Identification of Eligible Households
The Bill does not specify criteria for the identification of households (Priority or Antyodaya) eligible for PDS entitlements. The Central Government is to determine the state-wise coverage of the PDS, in terms of 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 lists of eligible households are to be placed in the public domain and “displayed prominently” by state governments.
4. Food Commissions
The Bill provides for the creation of State Food Commissions. Each Commission shall consist of a chairperson, five other members and a member-secretary (including at least two women and one member each from Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes).
The main function of the State Commission is to monitor and evaluate the implementation of the act, give advice to the states governments and their agencies, and inquire into violations of entitlements (either suo motu or on receipt of a complaint, and with “all the powers of a civil court while trying a suit under the Code of Civil Procedure 1908”). State Commissions also have to hear appeals against orders of the District Grievance Redressal Officer and prepare annual reports to be laid before the state legislature.
The State Commission may forward “any case” to a Magistrate having jurisdiction, who shall proceed as if the case has been forwarded under Section 346 of the Code of Criminal Procedure 1973.
5. Transparency and Grievance Redressal
The Bill 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, designation of nodal officers, “or such other mechanisms as may be prescribed”.
Mandatory transparency provisions include: (1) placing all PDS-related records in the public domain and keeping them open for inspection to the public; (2) conducting periodic social audits of the PDS and other welfare schemes; (3) using information and communication technology (including end-to-end computerisation of the PDS) “to ensure transparent recording of transactions at all levels”; (4) setting up vigilance committees at state, district, block and fair price shop 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 (or the officer or authority against whom an order has been passed by the DGRO) 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
In Chapter VII, the Bill states that central and state governments “shall endeavour to progressively undertake” various PDS reforms, including: doorstep delivery of foodgrains; ICT applications and 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 lieu of 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. It also has to “provide assistance” to state governments to meet local distribution costs, but on its own terms (“as may be prescribed”). The Central Government has wide-ranging powers to make Rules.
The main obligation of state governments is to implement the relevant schemes, in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Central Government. State governments also have wide-ranging powers to make Rules. They are free to extend benefits and entitlements beyond what is prescribed in the Bill, 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.
The Bill has three schedules (these can be amended “by notification”). Schedule 1 prescribes issue prices for the PDS. Schedule 2 prescribes “nutritional standards” for midday meals, take-home rations and related entitlements. For instance, take-home rations for children aged 6 months to 3 years should provide at least 500 calories and 12-15 grams of protein. Schedule 3 lists various “provisions for advancing food security”, under three broad headings: (1) revitalization of agriculture (e.g. agrarian reforms, research and development, remunerative prices), (2) procurement, storage and movement of foodgrains (e.g. decentralised procurement), and (3) other provisions (e.g. drinking water, sanitation, health care, and “adequate pensions” for “senior citizens, persons with disability and single women”).
Summary of National Food Security Bill 2013 prepared by Jean Dreze on behalf of TEHELKA
The Karnataka Agriculture Budget for 2013-14 is at http://www.kar.nic.in/finance/
14. Creation of basic database of farmers and distribution of pass books: Database containing comprehensive information (land holding, category, address, facilities availed etc) of farmers has to be created with the integration of ‘Bhoomi’ project with the existing “Aadhar” database in the State. This information will be useful to enable greater attention hereafter for categories and areas which have got less importance till now and for formulating agriculture related policies. A pass book containing all this information will be provided to the farmers. A sum of Rs 15 crore will be spent to implement this programme by fully computerizing and web-enabling in
co-ordination with the E-governance department on a pilot basis in the districts of Mysore, Tumkur, Dharwad, where Aadhar project is completed. This programme will be extended to the other districts in a phased manner.
17. New MoU for improvement of life of farmers: With a view to improve the economic condition of the farmers along with agricultural wealth, Farmers Income Commission will be set up as per the recommendations of Dr. Swaminathan. In order to formulate a programme to protect the farmers of Karnataka from the effect of frequent droughts, the State Government has entered into a MoU with 9 international C.G.I.A.R1 organisations. Basic status survey and activities as per the action plan are under progress in one district each in the four revenue divisions (Tumkur, Chikkamagaluru, Bijapur and Raichur) for implementation of the said programme. Rs.50 crore will be provided as funding to extend this programme to all the districts in the coming years in a phased manner.
19. Suvarna Bhoomi Scheme: Based on the demand from the farmers, the scheme will be continued during this year and will be extended to the farmers growing millets such as Ragi, Jowar, Maize and Bajra. Rs.300 Crores will be provided for assisting 3 lakh beneficiaries under this scheme during the current year.
21. Preparation, certification and distribution of organic manure : High priority has been given to organic farming in the State during the last 4 years and my Government is implementing Amruth Bhoomi scheme by constituting Organic Farming Mission. Organic village programme will be extended and will be implemented in 240 acres in each Hobli under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojane. In view of increasing demand for organic manure, it is proposed to handover its manufacturing, certification and internal control by
APEDA identified agencies and marketing to non- Governmental organisations which are experts in this field and to encourage them, a sum of Rs 100 crores is proposed.
22. Own Seed Development Scheme: As there is high demand by the farmers for good quality seeds, it is necessary to encourage production of certified seeds. For this purpose own seed development scheme will be implemented by seed production centres of
agriculture department in collaboration with various seed production corporations/boards/private farms of the State. To encourage seed production in selected villages at Hobli level, infrastructure facilities like fee concession for seed certification, construction of seed storage godowns, construction of threshing yards and equipments required for processing will be provided. Rs. 55 crores will be provided for this purpose.
25. Solar power pump sets : There are 18 lakh irrigation pump sets in the State and their electricity consumption is increasing. Karnataka Solar Energy Scheme will be formulated to make up for the shortage of electricity, to adopt modern technology and to install solar power based pump sets, where ever possible. Initially this scheme will be implemented in 4 districts (one each in every revenue division). On the basis of its evaluation after implementation, Rs.50 crores will be provided in the first phase for extension to the other districts.
33. Development of vegetable gardens in schools to overcome malnutrition: To compensate for deficiency of vitamin A and B in the children of North Karnataka (especially in Gulbarga, Raichur, Koppal, Bidar, Bellary, Bijapur and Bagalkot districts) who are
suffering from malnutrition, it is proposed to grow fruits and vegetables in kitchen gardens, school gardens, community parks and such other places and supply to children. About 50 lakh children will be benefitted at a cost of Rs.2.5 crore during the year 2013-14.
73. In order to provide necessary warehouse facilities and to enable farmers to get warehouse based loans, necessary infrastructure facilities will be provided in a scientific manner in 19 places of the State (Hubli, Bijapur, Raichur, Bidar, Gadag, Bagalkot, Sankeshwara, Ranebennur, Harihara, Davanagere, Challakere, Chitradurga, Bharamasagara, Gundlupet, Soraba, Chamarajanagar, Santemaranahalli, Mysore and Kollegala).
• A web portal has been started in 2012-13 for online disposal of farmers’ subsidy applications and to avoid delay in the payment of subsidy. So far 11,820 applications have been received through the web portal.
అనేక సంవత్సరాల పోరాటం తర్వాత, ఆంధ్ర ప్రదేశ్ రాష్ట్ర ప్రభుత్వం ప్రత్యెక వ్యవసాయ బడ్జెట్ ప్రవేశ పెట్టడానికి సుముఖత వ్యక్తం చేసింది. అయితే ఈ వ్యవసాయ బడ్జెట్ కేవలం నిధులు కేటాయింపు గా మాత్రమే చూడకుండా, వ్యవసాయానికి దిశానిర్దేశం చేసే విధంగా వుండాలి అని కోరుతూ, సుస్థిర వ్యవసాయ కేంద్రం, అఖిల పక్ష రైతు సంఘాలు, ఏ.పి. రైతు స్వరాజ్య వేదిక ఆధ్వర్యం లో చర్చించి చేసిన ప్రతిపాదనలు.
Central Government is trying to bring in a new seed bill replacing the existing Seed Act 1966 and Seed Control Order 1983 The first draft was released in 2004 and after the suggestions from various groups and parliamentary standing committee were taken into account a new draft was released in 2010.
Earlier Minister for Agriculture Raghuveera Reddy led a deligation to meet Sharad Pawar and Manmohan singh
While the centre has agreed on several suggestions but now it got stuck at a point of ‘State having powers to regulate prices and royalties over seeds’ Sharad Pawar is adamant and not agreeing on that.
Please find enclosed our analysis and suggestions