NAC sends draft food bill to government

New Delhi: The Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory Council has sent to the Government the draft Food Security Bill which seeks legal food entitlements to 90 per cent rural and 50 per cent urban households.

The draft Bill was sent on Thursday to the government which is expected to take a view and present it to Parliament.

The Bill seeks to create priority and general categories in rural and urban areas and issue to them appropriate ration cards to enable them to receive food grains at the rates applicable to them.

The Bill proposes that at least 46 per cent of rural and 28 per cent of urban households become 'priority' beneficiaries, who should get rice at Rs 3, wheat at Rs 2 and millets at Rs 1 a kg.

It urges the government not to increase these rates for a minimum period of ten years from the date of notification of the Act.

The rest of the beneficiaries would get a minimum of four kg of foodgrains per person per month at half the minimum support price for the year offered to farmers while buying their produce.

The Bill proposes creation of a National Food Commission and State Food Commissions to oversee the implementation of the Act. These Commissions would have powers of a civil court to hold enquiries.

It also states that fair price shops for the delivery of subsidised food grains should be set up within 3 km of a habitation.