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Grievance Redressal Mechanism and Monitoring

1. Grievance Redressal Mechanism:


Section 14 of the NFSA provides that every State Government shall put in place an internal grievance redressal mechanism which may include call centres, help lines, designation of nodal officers, or such other mechanism as may be prescribed.

2. District Grievance Redressal Officer:


Section 15 provides for a District Grievance Redressal Officer for expeditious and effective redressal of grievances of the aggrieved persons in matters relating to distribution of entitled foodgrains or meals and to enforce the entitlements under this Act.

3. State Food Commission:


Sections 16-21 of the NFSA (2013) provide that every State Government shall, by notification, constitute a State Food Commission for the purpose of monitoring and review of implementation of the NFSA. The State Commission shall monitor and evaluate the implementation of this Act, in relation to the State. In addition it would either suomotu or on receipt of complaint inquire into violations of entitlements provided under the Act, give advice to the State Government on effective implementation of this Act; give advice to the State Government, their agencies, autonomous bodies as well as non-governmental organizations involved in delivery of relevant services, for the effective implementation of food and nutrition related schemes, to enable individuals to fully access their entitlements specified in this Act. The SFCs are also required to hear appeals against orders of the District Grievance Redressal Officer and prepare annual reports which shall be laid before the State Legislature by the State Government. In case a State decides to set up a State Food Commission as per provisions of the Act on exclusive basis and not jointly with other States/UTs, Central Government will provide one time financial assistance for non building assets for State Food Commission.Guidelineshave been issued in this regard.

4. Social Audits:


Section 28 provides that every local authority, or any other authority or body, as may be authorized by the State Government, shall conduct or cause to be conducted, periodic social audits on the functioning of fair price shops, Targeted Public Distribution System and other welfare schemes, and cause to publicise its findings and take necessary action, in such manner as may be prescribed by the State Government.

5. Vigilance Committees:


The NFSA(2013) provides that for ensuring transparency and proper functioning of the Targeted Public Distribution System and accountability of the functionaries in such system, every State Government shall set up Vigilance Committees as specified in the Public Distribution System (Control) Order, 2001, made under the Essential Commodities Act, 1995, as amended from time to time, at the State, District, Block and fair price shop levels consisting of such persons, as may be prescribed by the State Government giving due representation to the local authorities, the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes, women and destitute persons or persons with disability. The Vigilance Committees are required to regularly supervise the implementation of all schemes under this Act, inform the District Grievance Redressal Officer, in writing, of any violation of the provisions of this Act; and inform the District Grievance Redressal Officer, in writing, of any malpractice or misappropriation of funds found by it.