Details of food security law finalized

New Delhi, July 14 (Calcutta Tube) The National Advisory Council (NAC) Wednesday reached an initial agreement on the draft of a food security law and recommended 35 kg of foodgrain be supplied per month at Rs.3 a kg to people in the country’s one-fourth districts considered the most disadvantaged.

‘While time-bound universalisation of foodgrain entitlements across the country may be desirable, initial universalisation in one-fourth of the most disadvantaged districts or blocks in the first year is recommended, where every household is entitled to receive 35 kg per month of foodgrains at Rs.3 a kg,’ said a statement issued after the NAC meeting.

After the working group on the bill made a presentation at the NAC meeting, chaired by chairperson Sonia Gandhi, the proposal was deliberated and reached an initial agreement.

The working group will prepare a draft the National Food Security Bill based on this framework.

According to the agreement, ‘in the remaining districts/blocks, coverage of universal public distribution system with differentiated entitlements (in terms of quantity and issue price), would progressively be expanded to all rural areas in the country over a reasonable period of time.’

‘There shall be a guarantee of 35 kg of foodgrain per household at Rs.3 a kg for all socially vulnerable groups including Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribess, and 25 kg for all others, at an appropriate price,’ it said.

‘There would also be a category that would be excluded based on transparent and verifiable criteria. Further details of this basic framework will be formulated by the NAC,’ it said.

‘In urban areas, eligible households (identified by criteria developed by the Planning Commission based on the recommendations of the Hashim Committee), including slum-dwellers and the homeless, will be entitled to 35 kg per month at Rs.3 a kg,’ the statement said.

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