New Delhi: The Food Security Act has given 81 crore Indians the right to food said Union minister of state for food and civil supplies, Raosaheb Danve. In Maharashtra, 7.16 crore are availing the benefit of this Act. Danve was speaking on the eve of World Food Day, which is observed every year on October 16.
"The government is committed to supply food to the lowest segments of the society. To ensure that no one goes hungry, the Antyodaya scheme was launched in 2000 for people living below the poverty line. Currently 2.5 crore citizens are benefiting from this scheme, wherein 35kg of foodgrain is distributed to each household every month," Danve said.
The Right to Food Act came into force on July 5, 2013, giving every citizen the right to food. This Act was amended from time to time, so as to accommodate maximum beneficiaries. Seventy-five per cent of the rural population and 50 per cent of urban India have food on their plates as a result of this act.
Under this scheme, a ration cardholder can obtain rations from anywhere in the country. The scheme has been implemented in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana on a trial basis. The scheme will be entirely digitalised nationwide, from June 2020. There are 23,18,46,416 ration cardholders in the country, which includes 1.46 crore ration cardholders of Maharashtra. The Centre currently has 664.20 lakh metric tonne (MT) of foodgrain in storage. This includes 407 lakh MT of wheat and 256 lakh MT of rice. The government has identified essential commodities necessary for the common man, including 22 items like salt, sugar, milk, onion, tomato and pulses, Danve said.
India has now become self-sufficient in the production of foodgrains and we are exporting food, Danve said.