New Delhi: A Parliamentary panel on Tuesday
asked the government to finalise the draft of the proposed
National Food Security bill early and introduce it in the
next Parliament session.
"...the government should make sincere efforts to get
early clearance of the bill from empowered group of ministers
and ensure that the bill is introduced during the next session
of Parliament," said the Parliamentary Standing Committee on
Food, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution.
The proposed National Food Security bill is the right
step taken by the government to ensure food for all, it said.
A draft bill would be placed before the EGOM on food
only after an expert committee, set up by the Prime Minister`s
office, comes up with a report on the recommendations made by the National Advisory Council (NAC) on the proposed Food bill.
NAC, headed by UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, has
recommended the government to grant a legal entitlement to
subsidised foodgrains to at least 75 per cent of the country`s
population under the proposed Food Security Bill through a
reformed PDS system from the next financial year.
It has suggested a legal entitlement of subsidised
foodgrains to two broad categories -- priority and general --
covering 90 per cent of the rural population and 50 per cent
in urban areas.
The NAC has recommended the Centre to provide 35 kg of foodgrains a month to priority households at a subsidised rate
of Rs 1 per kg for millets, Rs 2 for wheat and Rs 3 for rice.
For the general category, the NAC has proposed supply of
20 kg of foodgrains at a price not exceeding 50 per cent of
the current support price, which comes to Rs 5.50 for wheat
and Rs 7.70 per kg for rice.
At present, the government provides cheap foodgrains to
18.04 crore families, which includes 6.52 BPL families and
11.5 APL families, through ration shops.