Question : People without Food

(a) whether 19 crore people in the country are still sleeping every day without a morsel for food and if so, the reasons therefor;

(b) whether any measures are being taken to rectify the problem of persisting hunger/starvation despite overflowing food grain stock and make food grains more accessible in the country;

(c) if so, the details thereof;

(d) whether the Government has been able to control and eradicate hunger in India with the implementation of National Food Security Act; and

(e) if so, the details thereof and if not, the corrective steps taken by the Government in this regard?

Answer given by the minister


(a) to (e): Government of India enacted National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013 which provides for coverage of upto 75% of the rural population and upto 50% of the urban population thus addressing the hunger alleviation of the bottom 67% of the population, which at Census 2011 is at a maximum limit of 81.35 crore persons. Identification of beneficiaries under the Act is under two categories- households covered under Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) and Priority Households (PHH). Priority Households are entitled to receive 5 Kg per person per month and AAY households are entitled to receive 35 Kg of foodgrains per household per month @ Rs 1/2/3 per kg for coarsegrains/wheat/rice respectively. The Act is operational in a seamless manner across all States/Union Territories. The coverage under the Act is substantially high to ensure that all the vulnerable and needy sections of the society get its benefit.


The implementation of NFSA through the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) is a joint responsibility of the Central and State Governments/UT Administrations. The State Governments/UT Administrations are responsible for the identification of beneficiaries and distribution of foodgrains to them. Section 12 of the NFSA provides for reforms in the Targeted Public Distribution System through use of technology to make it more targeted and transparent and to address the implementation gaps.

During the year 2020-21, the Government allocated a quantity of 948.45 lakh MT of foodgrains to the States/UTs under NFSA, Other Welfare Schemes (OWS), Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyaan Anna Yojana, Atmanirbhar Bharat and allocations due to natural calamities and festivals. During the current year i.e. 2021-22, the Government of India has so far allocated 880.73 lakh MT of foodgrains under NFSA, OWS, Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyaan Anna Yojana and other additional allocations. The scheme of End-to-End Computerization of the PDS has ensured rightful targeting of the beneficiaries all over the country.

Government of India has issued advisories to all States/UTs to identify and cover the weakest sections of the society under TPDS and launch special drives to issue ration cards to them upto the respective NFSA coverage limits. Advisories have been issued to all States/UTs that no beneficiary/household shall be deleted from the list of eligible beneficiaries/households only on the grounds of not possessing Aadhaar and shall also not be denied subsidized foodgrains under NFSA due to non-availability of Aadhaar or failure of biometric authentication.

The One Nation One Ration Card (ONORC) has been implemented in 34 States/UTs which offers the convenience of portability of ration benefits under the NFSA anywhere in the country with the same/existing ration card to nearly 75 crore beneficiaries.

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