Committed to food security bill: Thomas

July 18th, 2012 - 7:53 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 18 (IANS) Food Minister K.V. Thomas Wednesday said the union government was committed to ensuring food security of the people, particularly the vulnerable sections.

He said the proposed food security bill aimed to give legal rights to cheaper foodgrains to 63.5 percent of the population.

Around 180 million households — 65 million below poverty line (BPL) and 115 million above poverty line (APL) category families — get subsidised rations under the Public Distribution System through the fair price shops.

“The bill seeks to address the issue of food security in the country in a holistic manner by adopting a life cycle approach,” Thomas said while launching a bulletin on food justice in India brought out by the Oxfam India, a voluntary organisation and the Institute of Development Studies.

“The government is committed to ensure food and nutrition security of the people of the country, especially the vulnerable sections,” he said.

Accepting that it was a challenging task to ensure successful implementation of the food security bill of such scope and magnitude, he said: “All the stakeholders should contribute to make this historic initiative of the government a success. I welcome suggestions for improvement of food security situation in the country.”

The minister said the proposed legislation marked a paradigm shift in addressing the problem of food security — from it being viewed as a welfare approach to a right-based approach.

He said the government was awaiting the report of the parliamentary committee examining the bill.

“We are awaiting the outcome of deliberations by the standing committee so that we could take further action to take the bill forward,” he said.

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