The stalled Parliament may have led to delay in discussing the food security bill but the states are getting ready to identify the beneficiaries but on different criteria.
Implementing the Central law would mean saving huge state food subsidies for many BJP-ruled states like Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, a reason for quick action.
The law was brought into force in July by the UPA government through an ordinance to provide subsidised food grains to around 67% of India’s population. Only Tamil Nadu has refused to implement the law while others are on board, though with some reservations.
Madhya Pradesh will apply exclusion criteria based on its survey of around 6.8 crore households in rural areas to identify the beneficiaries. Bihar on other hand had opted for a much easier approach wherein it would provide subsidised food to all except the income tax payees, large landholders and the salaried class.
For Delhi the task at hand is much easier as only 38% of the population or 9.2 million people will get covered with 44.8% in urban areas and 31% in rural areas.
Chhattisgarh, which has already enacted its own food security law, would be quick to implement the Central law and has started the process to identify the beneficiaries. Implementing the Central law will mean saving on the state’s food subsidy bill, a senior state government official said.