NAC for redraft of communal violence bill
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Last Updated: Wednesday, July 14, 2010, 23:27
  
New Delhi: The National Advisory Council, headed by Sonia Gandhi, today recommended foodgrain entitlement to all families in the 50 most disadvantaged districts or blocks from April next year and draft a fresh law to check communal violence.

"While time-bound universalisation of foodgrain entitlements across the country may be desirable, initial universalisation in one-fourth of the most disadvantaged districts or blocks in the first year is recommended, where every household is entitled to receive 35 kgs per month of foodgrains at Rs 3 a kg," NAC said in a statement after a day-long meeting chaired by Gandhi.

There are an estimated 200 districts and blocks which have been identified as most disadvantaged areas in the country having a concentration of the poor.

The Council made it clear that in the remaining districts or blocks universal PDS will be extended with differentiated entitlements in terms of quantity and issue price.

It would progressively be expanded to all rural areas in the country over a reasonable period of time, it said.

The meeting also discussed the Communal Violence Bill which is at present in the Rajya Sabha and felt that it does not fulfil the objectives and cannot accommodate the features essential to achieve them.

It was agreed that there was a need to draft a fresh law on the subject that would reflect the letter and spirit of the objectives for which the Council's working groups will consult with legal experts.

Some of the features in the current Bill included widening the scope of the law to include sectarian violence, definitions of new crimes, setting up of National Authority, ensuring greater accountability of public authorities, stipulation of national norms from rescue to restitution, specifying compensation norms and ensuring victim-witness rights.

Sources said the idea was to set up a national authority to oversee actions taken by states to tackle communal violence.

An initial agreement was reached in the Council that certain households in urban areas, including slum-dwellers and the homeless, will be entitled to 35 kg per month at Rs 3 a kg.

The eligible households are to be identified by criteria developed by the Planning Commission.

The NAC also favoured comprehensive nutrition support schemes for infants, pre-school children, school children, welfare hostel students, adolescent girls, pregnant women, street-children, homeless, the aged and infirm.

These would also be extended to the differently-abled, those living with leprosy, TB and HIV/AIDS.

It also favoured establishing community kitchens and destitute feeding throughout the entire country.

The NAC also decided that the Working Group on Food Security will undertake further work on measures for enhancing agriculture production, PDS and procurement reforms, ICDS reforms and maternity benefits, community kitchens and destitute feeding.

It would look at systems of oversight, transparency, accountability and grievance redressal.

PTI


First Published: Wednesday, July 14, 2010, 23:27


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