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‘National Food Security Bill is deeply flawed’

Demanding radical changes in the "flawed" National Food Security Bill, activists on Monday sought to tear into the proposed legislation.

New Delhi: Demanding radical changes in the
"flawed" National Food Security Bill, activists on Monday sought
to tear into the proposed legislation, saying there is no
clarity in identification of different socio-economic groups.

The activists of Right to Food Campaign claimed rural
people are at the risk of being excluded from the food
security system due to the ongoing Socio Economic and Caste
Census (SECC-2011) in different states.

"This is a very important act, an opportunity to do
something about malnutrition. India has the highest cases of
malnutrition. The basic flaw with it is that there is no
clarity in identification of the different socio-economic
groups," noted economist and former National Advisory Council
(NAC) member Jean Dreze told reporters here.

"The Bill which has been passed by the Food Ministry
undermines food security, we have a lot of problems with it,"
rights activist Kavita Srivastava said.

"The Bill is deeply flawed and needs radical change
before it is tabled in the Parliament. Its threatens to
undermine the Public Distribution System (PDS) by imposing an
ill-devised straitjackets on state governments," she added.

Stating that the Bill does not address the issue of
malnutrition, child rights activist Dipa Sinha said, "As far
as children are concerned, whatever was mentioned in the draft
has not come in this proposed Bill."

The Right to Food Campaign will tomorrow hold a Jan Manch
in which noted experts and activists like Binayak Sen, Brinda
Karat, Javed Akhtar and parliamentarians shall participate.

63-year-old Jagdish Gujjar (OBC) from a village in Jaipur
district in Rajasthan, who earns less than Rs 35 per day, said
that as per the SECC standards he is not considered poor.

"All the rich in my village have BPL cards. But a poor
elderly man like me who doesn`t have the strength to do labour
work, do not have the benefit," he claimed while citing the
flaws in the SECC system.


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