Food Security Bill replete with confusion, says TN

Tamil Nadu on Wednesday said the Central Bill on Food Security was replete with "confusion and inaccuracy".

Chennai: Tamil Nadu on Wednesday said the Central Bill on Food Security was replete with "confusion and inaccuracy" and that the state should be exempted from the implementation of the proposed measure.

Food Minister R Kamaraj said Tamil Nadu should be allowed to implement the existing Universal Public Distribution System (UPDS) which was "more effective, robust and time tested".

Speaking at the meeting of Food Ministers on National Food Security Bill, chaired by Union Food Minister KV Thomas at New Delhi, he said Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has expressed her reservation on the Bill as it would deprive the State`s entitlement of present foodgrain allotment.

"Now our State is being allotted with 2.96 lakh Metric Tonnes per month, but in the changed dispensation under National Food Security Bill, our entitlement will drastically come down to 2.24 lakh Metric Tonnes", he said.

"As stated by our Chief Minister, the Central Bill on Food Security is replete with confusion and inaccuracy", Kamaraj said.

He said the state was also opposed to the Direct Cash Transfer in lieu of foodgrains proposed in the Bill. "Our government has taken a categorical stand that Direct Cash Transfer under PDS will deprive the poor of easy access and availability of foodgrains and such move will have severe impact on women and children", he said.

He said the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) was "fraught with deficiencies" compared to the UPDS that was being implemented for several decades in the state. He suggested that the allocation of 50 per cent in urban needed upward revision to 75 per cent on par with rural areas.