Food bill to address cost-sharing concern of states

November 21st, 2011 - 9:03 pm ICT by IANS  

Sonia Gandhi New Delhi, Nov 21 (IANS) Taking note of concerns of the states, the central government has provided for cost sharing in all the schemes under the draft National Food Security Bill slated to be introduced in the winter session of parliament starting Tuesday.

Sources said the states want the centre to fully or partially share the cost of implementing the proposed right to food law which is expected to substantially push the current food subsidy bill at Rs.63,000 crore.

“The states had raised the issue of cost sharing. We have addressed their concerns by providing for cost sharing in all the schemes under the draft bill,” said a senior official of the food ministry.

“The details of cost sharing scheme-wise would come later when rules under the proposed act would be framed.”

For instance, the cost sharing model in the Integrated Child Development Services Scheme would be different from the mid-day meal scheme.

Other objections of the states include authority to decide on the criteria to identify the beneficiaries.

Sources said while the Chhattisgarh government wants to do the job itself, Bihar prefers an independent body to identify the beneficiaries.

The draft bill seeks to cover up to 75 percent of the rural population and 50 percent of urban households, and proposes right to 7 kg foodgrains per person, at Rs.3 per kg for rice, Rs.2 per kg for wheat and Rs.1 per kg for coarse grains, to the priority beneficiaries.

The bill proposes to give legal right to take home ration/meal to women, children, special groups including destitute and homeless, emergency and disaster affected persons and persons living in starvation.

To implement the right to food, the government has proposed to set up a three-tier grievance redressal mechanism at district, state and national level for the implementation of the legislation.

The bill is in consonance with the draft suggested by Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory Council.

Related Stories

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in Business |