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Food Security Act implemented throughout country

The Union Government has announced that the National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013 which envisages supply of subsidised foodgrains has been implemented across the country.

Announcement in this regard was made by Union Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan after last two remaining states Kerala and Tamil Nadu rolled out the NFSA from November 2016.

Key Facts

  • With this, now NFSA has been implemented in all States and Union Territories. As a result, 81.34 crore persons will get subsidised wheat at Rs. 2 per kg and rice at Rs. 3 per kg.
  • At the current coverage, the monthly allocation of foodgrains to States and UTs under the Act is about 45.5 lakh tonnes.
  • The subsidy implication of about Rs. 11,726 crore per month and it is overall about Rs. 1,40,700 crore per year.
  • Now Union Government will focus on further reforms in the public distribution system (PDS) including end to end computerization in order to check leakages and diversion of foodgrains.

About National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013

  • The NFSA aims to provide subsidized food grains to approximately two thirds of the population (75% in rural areas and 50% in urban areas).
  • It converts into legal entitlements for existing food security programmes of the Central Government. It includes the Midday Meal Scheme, Integrated Child Development Services scheme and the Public Distribution System.
  • Grains like wheat, rice and coarse grain will be distributed at the subsidized price of 3 Rs. 3, Rs. 2 and Rs. 1.
  • Pregnant women and lactating mothers and children are entitled to get meals under the prescribed nutrition by MDM and ICDS.
  • NFSA 2013 will provide high nutrition food to the children from age group of 6 months to 14 years. Pregnant women and lactating mothers will be entitled to get maternity benefit of not less than Rs. 6,000

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Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016 comes into force

The Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016, designed to curb black money and passed by parliament in August 2016, came into effect.

The new law amended the Benami Transactions Act, 1988 and renamed as the Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions (PBPT) Act, 1988. The amendment act also to strengthen the parent Act in terms of legal and administrative procedure.

What is benami transaction?

The benami (without a name) transaction refers to property purchased by a person in the name of some other person.  The person on whose name the property has been purchased is called the benamdar and the property so purchased is called the benami property. The person who finances the deal is the real owner.

Key Highlights Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016

  • Persons indulging in benami transactions may face up to 7 years’ imprisonment and fine.
  • Furnishing false information is punishable by imprisonment up to 5 years and fine
  • Properties held benami are liable for confiscation by government without compensation
  • Initiating Officer may pass an order to continue holding property and may then refer case to Adjudicating Authority which will then examine evidence and pass an order.
  • Appellate Tribunal will hear appeals against orders of Adjudicating Authority. High Court can hear appeals against orders of Appellate Tribunal.

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Union Government notifies rules for Real Estate Act for five UTs

The Union Ministry of Housing has notified the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) (General) Rules, 2016, to be applicable to the five Union Territories.

These five Union Territories are Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu, Lakshadweep and Chandigarh.

Key Facts

  • These Rules have been notified as stipulated in the Real Estate (Regulation & Development) Act, 2016 for ensuring timely completion of projects in five Union Territories
  • As per provisions of the Act, Real Estate Regulatory Authorities (RERA) and Real Estate Appellate Tribunals (REAT) have to be set up by the end of April, 2017.
  • The Rules provide for compounding of punishment with imprisonment for violation of the orders of REAT against payment of 10% of project cost in case of developers and 10% of the cost of property purchased in case of allottees and agents.

Real Estate (Regulation & Development) Act, 2016

The Real Estate Act that seeks to regulate the housing sector besides bringing transparency and ensuring timely completion of projects. The law is touted as a major reform measure to regulate the vast real estate sector. It requires registration of all projects with state-level Real Estate Regulatory Authorities to ensure protection of the interests of both buyers and builders.

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