In so far as Department of Food & Public Distribution, Government of India is concerned, no State Government/Union Territory Administration has reported any incident of death due to hunger/starvation. There have been media reports of starvation deaths in some states. However, on enquiry, the State Governments informed that the allegations of deaths due to starvation have not been substantiated. State Government of Gujarat has also informed that there have been no deaths due to starvation in the state.
The Government has been providing food grains at highly subsidized prices to the targeted population through State Governments/Union Territory Administrations under the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) in terms of National Food Security Act, 2013 and Other Welfare Schemes (OWSs).
National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013 provides for coverage of upto 75% of the rural population and upto 50% of the urban population, thus covering about two-third of the population of the country for receiving foodgrains @ of Rs. 3, 2 & 1 per Kg for rice, wheat & coarse grains respectively under TPDS.
This Department has issued instructions to all States/UTs that no beneficiary/household shall be deleted from the list of eligible beneficiaries/households only on the ground of not possessing Aadhaar, and shall also not be denied for subsidized foodgrains or cash transfer of food subsidy under NFSA due to non-availability of Aadhaar or failure of biometric authentication due to network/ connectivity/ linking issues/ poor biometric of the beneficiary or other technical reasons.
Streamlining and upgradation of TPDS is a continuous process. Department of Food & Public Distribution is implementing a Scheme on ‘End-to-End Computerisation of TPDS Operations’ on cost sharing basis with the States/UTs. The Scheme consists of activities namely, digitization of ration cards/beneficiary and other databases, computerisation of supply-chain management, setting up of transparency portals and grievance redressal mechanisms and installation of ePoS devices at Fair Price Shops.
This was stated by Shri C.R.Chaudhary ,MoS ,Ministry of Consumer affairs,Food and Public distribution in a written reply in lok sabha today.