Gehlot gives instructions for preparation of guidelines
Nearly 76 per cent of the rural population and 54 per cent of urban people in Rajasthan are set to benefit from the Food Security Ordinance, which is being implemented by the State Government “in [its] letter and spirit”. Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has described the law as a “revolutionary step” in giving the right to food to the people.
Giving instructions for preparation of guidelines for implementing the Ordinance’s provisions, Mr. Gehlot pointed out that Rajasthan was the only northern Sate making available wheat at Re.1 per kg to 38.83 lakh families even before the Ordinance was promulgated.
The statutory food security will give instant benefit to 30 categories of people included in the Chief Minister’s Below Poverty Line Life Saving Fund. Mr. Gehlot said at a high-level meeting here earlier this week that a target had been set to extend the benefit to 4.84 crore people in the State. Children of the age of six months to six years at Anganwadi centres will get food free of cost, while students of six to 14 years will be getting mid-day meals in schools as a matter of right. The Ordinance also provides for payment of Rs.6,000 in instalments as maternity benefit to women.According to the Ordinance, every person belonging to the priority households identified by the State Government will be entitled to receive 5 kg of food grains per month at subsidised prices. Food grains will be supplied at the subsidised rate not exceeding Rs.3 per kg for rice, Rs.2 per kg for wheat and Re.1 per kg for coarse grains for a period of three years from the date of commencement of the Act.
Chief Secretary C. K. Mathew has issued orders for appointment of a task force, headed by Additional Chief Secretary (Rural Development), for finalising the norms for identification of beneficiaries under Section 10 of the Ordinance. The task force will submit its report within two weeks.