India’s ranking in the Global Hunger Index (GHI) in the years 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 was 80, 97, 100, 103, 102 and 94, respectively, and its score improved from 38.9 to 27.2 in 2020, the Parliament was informed on Tuesday.
“Thus, the country has shown consistent improvement over the years in terms of the GHI brought out by Concern Worldwide and Welthungerhilfe,” Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food, and Public Distribution, Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti told the Lok Sabha in a written reply.
The Centre accords high priority to the issue of hunger and has been providing food grains at highly subsidised prices to the targeted population through state governments/Union Territory administrations under National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013 and Other Welfare Schemes (OWS), she said.
NFSA provides for coverage of up to 75 per cent of the rural population and up to 50 per cent of the urban population for receiving food grains under Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) at Rs 1/2/3 per kg for coarse grains/wheat/rice, respectively.
Identification of beneficiaries under the Act is under two categories- households covered under the 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 food grains per household per month.
At present, the Act is being implemented in all the states/UTs covering about 79.51 crore persons to get highly subsidised food grains. “The coverage under the Act is substantially high to ensure that all the vulnerable and needy sections of the society get its benefit,” the minister said.
During 2020-21, the government allocated a quantity of 948.37 lakh MT of food grains to the states/UTs under NFSA, and OWS, allocations due to natural calamities and festivals, Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyaan Anna Yojana, and Atmanirbhar Bharat. During the current year i.e. 2021-22, the government has so far allocated 860.63 lakh MT of food grains under NFSA, OWS and Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyaan Anna Yojana and other additional allocations.
The scheme of End-to-End Computerisation of the PDS has ensured rightful targeting of the beneficiaries all over the country, she added.