New Delhi: Describing the Food Security Bill as a "non-starter", the BJP on Wednesday said food should be viewed as a fundamental right and the government should come up with the legislation in this regard at the earliest.
The party also said the government should take measures for revamping of the public distribution system.
Food security was one of the major agenda of the UPA government in 2009 but the bill is yet to see the light of the day, senior BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu pointed out while addressing a summit on agriculture here.
"In 2009, presidential address contains a promise about the food security as one of the 10 broad areas for her government. This year also president promised to ensure food security. However, this much-awaited legislation is yet to see the light of the day," he said.
"Mere words will not suffice. You need to provide food security...We request the government from this forum to bring food security act at the earliest. Provide adequate money (for the implementation of the Act) in the coming budget," he demanded.
Naidu said that food should be viewed as a basic fundamental right. "We have fundamental rights. Right to life is fundamental right. But if there is no food what is the meaning of having life," he contended, saying that ensuring food security to people is the primary duty of the government.
He said that food security involves largely two factors. "One is availability and secondly accessibility. Merely availability alone will not suffice. There has to be accessibility also. Mere production will not suffice, there has to be proper distribution also."
On the issue of rotting of foodgrains, Naidu said there has to be proper storage of foodgrains.
The Supreme Court was right in ordering the government in its judgement that food grains should be distributed among the poor instead of allowing them to rot, he added.
Addressing the summit, BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar suggested that farmers should be given a guarantee that they
get good price of their produce.
"There has to be massive public investment on irrigation. for this entire government has to make efforts. It is not possible for a farmer or a village to do," he added.
He said that there must be productivity oriented subsidies for farmers. "Those who are producing much should get much encouragement in shape of subsidy. There has to be a productivity linked bonus system."
Addressing the programme, Congress MP and industrialist Navin Jindal said that government intends to bring the Food Security Act.