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Centre asks states to cover eligible disabled persons under NFSA

<p class="p1">In a bid to ensure free food to all eligible disabled persons (Divyang) under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY), the Central government has again asked the states to cover all eligible disabled persons under the National Food Security Act (NFSA).</p>
<p class="p1">The Secretary, Department of Food and Public Distribution under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food &amp; Public Distribution, has sent letters to the Chief Secretaries of all states and union territories requesting them to ensure that all eligible disabled persons are included under the National Food Security Act 2013, said an official statement on Tuesday.</p>
<p class="p1">The Chief Secretaries have been requested to personally intervene in the matter and direct the concerned departments/officials and especially district administrations to ensure that an appropriate mechanism is put in place and the entire government machinery is  mobilized in mission mode for compliance of the directions issued by the Department of Food and Public Distribution to the state governments/UTs, said the statement.</p>
<p class="p1">Earlier, directions were issued to the states/UTs vide a letter dated August 22, 2020. The Department of Food &amp; Public Distribution advised all states/UTs to ensure that all disabled persons, who are eligible as per the identification criteria for the beneficiaries under the NFSA, are covered under the National Food Security Act 2013 and they get their entitled quota of foodgrains under NFSA and PMGKAY as per the provisions of the Act.</p>
<p class="p1">It was also stated in the letter that those not already covered should be covered with fresh ration cards to be issued as per the eligibility criteria. It was reiterated that disability is one of the criteria for the inclusion of beneficiaries under AAY households and as disabled persons are a vulnerable section of society. The letter advised that it is imperative that they are also covered by States/UTs under the priority households as per the criteria of identification evolved by them.</p>
<p class="p1">Section 38 of the National Food Security Act mandates that the government may from time to time give directions to the state governments for effective implementation of the provisions of the Act, said the Ministry.</p>
<p class="p1">Each member of the beneficiary family of the NFSA is getting 5 kg free rice/wheat, while one kg free whole chana is provided to each family per month under the PMGKAY. It was initially started for three months — April, May and June — but now the scheme has been extended for five months till November.</p>.