Include all eligible disabled persons under NFSA: Centre tells states, UTs

The DFPD, in a letter, has advised the governments of all states and UTs to ensure that all disabled persons, who are eligible as per identification criteria of beneficiaries under NFSA, are covered under the National Food Security Act 2013 and they get their entitled quota of food grains under NFSA & PMGKAY as per provisions of the Act.

All state and union territories must include all eligible disabled persons under the National Food Security Act 2013, the Department of Food and Public Distribution (DFPD) under the Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution Ministry has said.

The DFPD, in a letter, has advised the governments of all states and UTs to ensure that all disabled persons, who are eligible as per identification criteria of beneficiaries under NFSA, are covered under the National Food Security Act 2013 and they get their entitled quota of food grains under NFSA & PMGKAY as per provisions of the Act.

The DFPD stated that those not already covered should be covered with fresh ration cards to be issued as per the eligibility criteria. It also reiterated that disability is one of the criteria for inclusion of beneficiaries under AAY households and as disabled persons are vulnerable section of the society.

The letter further 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

The Section 38 of the NFSA mandates that the Central government may from time to time give. The Section 10 of the Act provides for coverage of persons under the Antyodaya Anna Yojana in accordance with the guidelines applicable to the said scheme and the remaining households as priority households in accordance with such guidelines as the states government may specify, the ministry stated in a release.

The Atma Nirbhar Bharat Package of the Government of India is for the persons, who are not covered either under NFSA or any States Scheme PDS Cards. Hence, the disabled persons without ration cards are also eligible for getting benefits under Atma Nirbhar Bharat package.

Since the Atma Nirbhar scheme will lapse on August 31, 2020, the department has requested all states/UTs that they may identify such disabled persons who do not have ration cards and provide them benefits under the package.

The letter also mentioned that the scheme started in May 2020 and it was presumed that all eligible beneficiaries without ration cards, including the disabled should have been covered. It is understood that the ration lifted so far has been utilized by the states for distributing to eligible beneficiaries without ration cards, including the disabled. states are requested to undertake proactive steps in this regard, the letter added.

First Published:Aug. 23, 2020, 4:56 p.m.