Food Security Bill is ready: K.V. Thomas

Saturday, January 29, 2011

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM - Tipped as the flagship programme of the second United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, the proposed Food Security Bill is ready, union minister K.V. Thomas said Saturday.

Thomas, who recently was given independent charge of the consumer affairs, food and public distribution ministry, told reporters here that his department was ready with the path-breaking Food Security Bill.

“Early next month, it will be taken up for discussion by the National Advisory Committee and then it goes before the federal cabinet,” the minister said.

“You should note that, when this is implemented, India will become the only country in the world where there is such a programme,” he added.

Through this bill, the main objective of the government is that the farmers should get a fair price for their produce and the people should get the essential items at a reasonable cost.

“There are a few proposals that are being discussed on how the bill should be passed. With regards to the classification of the people, one proposal is that there should be a priority sector household and a general household category,” Thomas said.

“This bill is unlikely to come up in the forthcoming session of parliament and instead it could be there in the session after the budget session,” he added.

On the differences in the Below Poverty Line (BPL) list prepared by the central and state governments, he said his department had no role in that.

“The BPL list of the central government is made by the Planning Commission. We are confident that the difference of opinion in the list prepared by the state government is an issue that can be sorted out,” Thomas said.

The Kerala government Friday came out with a new BPL list which shows 32 lakh families (42.43 percent) in it while the central government list shows 10.25 lakh families.

Filed under: Economy

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