NAC likely to finalise suggestions on food security bill
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Last Updated: Tuesday, July 13, 2010, 21:47
  
New Delhi: Amid divergent views on the key measure, the National Advisory Council (NAC) headed by Sonia Gandhi is expected to finalise its recommendations on food security bill at its meeting tomorrow.

The meeting is also likely to take up the issue of the much-delayed communal violence bill.

The issue of universal entitlement of foodgrains under the ambitious Food Security Bill has remained a bone of contention in the NAC so far.

The issue was intensely debated at the meeting of the NAC on July 1 with prominent agriculture scientist M S Swaminathan making a strong pitch for extending food subsidy to all citizens while some others maintaining that such a move would be difficult to implement.

Former bureaucrat N C Saxena is understood to have suggested staggered implementation of universal entitlement beginning with 150 districts of the country.

A section of the members felt this would not be feasible given the coalition character of the government.

Another view was that universal entitlement itself was not feasible given the cost of food subsidy. Also, there was an opinion that it was not necessary to extend food subsidy to the billion-plus population.

The Food Security Bill, dubbed as a showpiece legislation of UPA-II, seeks to provide legal right to the poor to get rice or wheat at Rs 3 per kg.

A panel of ministers had favoured that every household would be entitled to 25 kg of foodgrains every month, a suggestion that drew widespread criticism.

PTI


First Published: Tuesday, July 13, 2010, 21:47


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