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    Odisha Tops, as First ‘State Ranking Index for NFSA’ is Announced; UP and Andhra Pradesh Follow

    GovernanceFood SecurityOdisha Tops, as First ‘State Ranking Index for NFSA’...
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    Odisha Tops, as First ‘State Ranking Index for NFSA’ is Announced; UP and Andhra Pradesh Follow

    The “State ranking Index for NFSA” attempts to document the status and progress of implementation of NFSA and various reform initiatives across the country, post consultation with states. The NFSA Index in no way reflects the extent of hunger, or malnutrition.

    Odisha, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh emerged as top three states among general category states in the first ‘State Ranking Index for NFSA’. The hills states of Tripura, Himachal Pradesh and Sikkim take top three positions in the special category states.

    Further, Dadra and Nagar Haveli & Daman and Diu ranks first among the union territories where Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) is operational.

    The NFSA Index denotes the efficiency of Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) and focuses on NFSA and TPDS reforms.

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    As per the ranking, Odisha has a score of 0.836, followed by Uttar Pradesh (0.797) and Andhra Pradesh (0.794). Gujarat is at the fourth place.

    The Index focuses on NFSA and TPDS reforms, which can be standardised across the states and union territories. It rests upon three pillars that consider various facets of food security and nutrition. Each pillar has parameters and sub-parameters that support this evaluation.

    The first pillar measures coverage of NFSA, rightful targeting, and implementation of all provisions under NFSA. The second pillar analyses the delivery platform, while considering the allocation of foodgrains, their movement, and last-mile delivery to Fair Price Shops (FPS). The final pillar focuses on nutrition initiatives of the department.

    The first edition of the ‘State Ranking Index for NFSA’ was released by Piyush Goyal, the Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution during the conference of food ministers of states union territories on ‘Food Nutrition and Security in India’ organized in Delhi today.

    Not an index of hunger

    The National Food Security Act (NFSA) was enacted on July 5, 2013 and in order to celebrate the day, the conference was organized to deliberate and discuss nutritional security, food security, best practices followed in Public Distribution System, crop diversification, reforms in PDS and storage sector.

    The “State ranking Index for NFSA” attempts to document the status and progress of implementation of NFSA and various reform initiatives across the country, post consultation with states. It highlights the reforms undertaken by states and union territories and creates a cross-learning environment and scale-up reform measures by all states and union territories.

    The NFSA Index in no way reflects the extent of hunger, or malnutrition (or both).

    The present Index is largely focused on NFSA Distribution and will include procurement, PMGKAY Distribution in future.

    State government dues

    Piyush Goyal said that India is now 100 per cent connected under One Nation One Ration Card (ONORC). He said that 45 crore transitions have taken so far providing the beneficiaries the freedom to collect ration from any State or union territory in the country. He said that ONORC supported migrants during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Goyal said that going forward, the system of digitized, Aadhaar linked Public Distribution to be used to issue Ayushman Bharat Card. He gave the example of Uttar Pradesh that is using the system to issue Ayushman Bharat card and urged other states to consider this system to provide nutritional security as well as health security. He said that immunization of migrant kids can also be linked with the system to ensure medical facility to them.

    Talking about the food subsidy to states, Goyal announced that the deadline to submit claims of pending dues till the year 2019-20 is August 15, 2022 and stressed that no dues will be entertained after the deadline. He also said that the pending bills of the States and union territories will be cleared within 60 days, that is, by 15 October 2022.

    The payments will be cleared by 31 January 2023 in the case of states or union territories providing details in following three months, he said.

    He further said that the subsidy claims are pending not because the funds are not available with the centre, but because the states or union territories have not provided relevant data.

    The ministers of many states raised concern over delay in CAG audit. The union minister directed officials to expedite the matter of the audits with the CAG.

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