Monday, March 1, 2010

Draft Food Security Bill is not Up to the Mark

The Bill is a result of a promise in the Congress's manifesto — of a law guaranteeing nutritional security for all. But the draft, prepared by the food ministry headed by Sharad Pawar, runs short of how it was visualized by Sonia Gandhi. The government has readied the draft of its promised Food Security Act but the bare provisions appear to fall short on many counts. It could not only trigger a face-off with the states but also cause heartburn to the Supreme Court and displease Congress chief Sonia Gandhi who had prepared a draft and sent it to the Prime Minister's Office last June. This quantum has been fixed at 25kg per month, against a Supreme Court directive of 35kg. On both these counts, it is likely to attract the opposition of the states. The draft Bill proposes that the Centre will have the final word on both the number of people in each state living below the poverty line, based on planning commission estimates, and the quantum of foodgrain to be given to the vulnerable sections.
It is hereby submitted that before passing the said bill it should be thoroughly examined and amended as per the requirement. So it may serve the real purpose rather than just to make fool to the poor.

Dr.Tabrez Ahmad,
Associate Professor of Law,
KIIT University, Bhubaneswar, India,
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