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NAC likely to finalise suggestions on food security bill

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.


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

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