Sonia Gandhi the Charistmatic Humanbeing Headline Animator

Monday, July 8, 2013

Cabinet nod for Sonia Gandhi’s dream project - Food Security

“We want no one in our country sleeps in hunger and that is why we want to bring in a Food Security Bill” said Sonia Gandhi on several occasions. She has been expressing her desire to make this land mark legislation a reality. This has been the dream of Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi too. But the opposition has been trying to create hindrances in its passage and finally, the Centre had to take the ordinance route in this regard.

The consistent efforts of Congress President and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi have finally reaped benefits. She has been pushing the Congress-led UPA Government at the centre to put the food security bill on fast track as the Congress had promised a ‘right to food’ in its 2009 election manifesto. With Sonia Gandhi insisting that the Food Security Bill be implemented at the earliest, the UPA cabinet has now given its nod for a Food Security ordinance at Wednesday’s meeting of the Union Cabinet meeting. The Food Security programme when implemented will be the biggest in the world with the government spending estimated at Rs 125,000 crore annually on supply of about 62 million tonnes of rice, wheat and coarse cereals to 67% of the population.

The Cabinet had deferred its proposal to promulgate an ordinance on the Food Security Bill last month and instead decided to hold consultations with allies and Opposition parties for their support for the proposed legislation. Home Minister and Lok Sabha leader Sushil Kumar Shinde, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath and Food Minister K V Thomas were asked to conduct the consultations. There was also a proposal to convene a special session of Parliament for the passage of this bill. Sonia Gandhi wanted the bill to be passed as soon as possible so that its benefits can reach the people.

The ordinance cleared will provide 5kg of foodgrain per person per month to 67% of the country’s population at a subsidised price of Rs.1 to Rs.3 per kg. The poorest of poor households that fall under the Antyodaya Anna Yojana programme will continue to get 35kg of foodgrain per household per month. And states and union territories will continue to receive at least as much grain as they currently do from the centre.

Proper implementation of the Food Security Bill (FSB) will lower spending on foodgrains by below poverty line (BPL) households, and free up resources for spending on other goods and services, in particular health, education, and nutritious food.

Here are some of the highlights of this bill:

• Up to three-quarters of people in the rural areas and up to half of the urban population would get five kilograms of grains per month at subsidized prices (3 rupees per kilo for rice, 2 rupees per kilo for wheat and 1 rupee per kilo for coarse grains).

• The poorest households would continue to receive 35 kilograms of grains per month under the “Antyodaya Anna Yojana” at subsidized prices.

• Pregnant women and lactating mothers would receive a maternity benefit of at least 6,000 rupees.

• Children aged six months to 14 years would get take-home ration or hot cooked food.

• The central government also would provide money to states and union territories if it runs low on grain.

•The central government also would provide “assistance” towards the cost of intra-state transportation, handling of grains.

•The oldest adult woman in each house would be considered the head of that household for issue of ration card.

No comments:

Post a Comment