Food grain supplies to states not to be reduced: Thomas

Seeking to bring AIADMK on board, the government on Monday said that food grain supplies to states would not be reduced with the implementation of the Food Security Bill.

Last Updated: Aug 26, 2013, 20:12 PM IST

New Delhi: Seeking to bring AIADMK on board, the government on Monday said that food grain supplies to states would not be reduced with the implementation of the Food Security Bill.

Food Minister KV Thomas` assurance in the Lok Sabha came against the backdrop of some states, including Tamil Nadu, raising concern that the bill would result in reduced food grain supplies.

"Whatever is the off-take of grains of the states for the last three years, it will be completely protected...Whatever you are getting, it will be protected," Thomas said moving the bill for discussion.

The price would also be maintained at the same existing levels, he said.

The assurance came close on the heels of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa saying her party would vote against the bill unless amendments suggested by her were incorporated.

Noting that the bill seeks to provide food security in a life cycle approach, Thomas said identification of eligible households would be identified by respective states.

"Total food grain requirement for the bill is estimated to be around 62 million tonnes...," the Minister said.

The bill would be implemented on the basis of population data as recorded in 2011 census and added the central government would provide assistance to states for transporting food grains.

Besides, the bill aims to make public distribution system more transparent and plug loopholes. Going by estimates, about 20-35 per cent leakages happen in public distribution system.

PTI