States being consulted on food security bill: President

February 21st, 2011 - 2:04 pm ICT by IANS  

Pratibha Patil New Delhi, Feb 21 (IANS) President Pratibha Patil Monday said states were being consulted on the proposed food security bill as its success critically depends on their commitment to reforms in the public distribution system (PDS). “I had announced earlier my government’s commitment to bring forward a food security law that will entitle statutorily every family, below poverty line, to foodgrains at highly subsidised prices,” Patil said addressing both houses of parliament at the start the budget session.

“Important inputs in this regard have been received from the National Advisory Council. The states are being consulted as the success of the programme hinges critically on their commitment to reforms in the PDS,” the President said.

She said increasing productivity and production was a long-term solution to fighting food inflation and the government has provided huge incentives to farmers.

The president said the minimum support price for paddy has been raised by the government from Rs.550 to Rs.1,000 per quintal and for wheat from Rs.630 to Rs.1,100 per quintal over a six-year period.

She said the support price of sugar had been increased by more than 50 percent over the last two years and the subsidy was being provided for fertilisers.

“The Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana has pumped in investment of around Rs 35,000 crore in agriculture. The National Food Security Mission has taken the Green Revolution to Eastern India. Credit flow to agriculture have received record levels. Nearly one crore hectares have been brought under assured irrigation since 2005-06,” she said.

She said the government was committed to giving a remunerative price to farmers but steps in this direction fall largely in the domain of states. “Concrete steps will be taken to augment investment and provide suitable incentives to the states in this direction,” she said.

-Indo-Asian News Service

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