Activists reject food security bill

New Delhi, March 20 (IANS) Activists of the Right to Food Campaign here Wednesday rejected the National Food Security Bill, which was approved by the union cabinet Tuesday.

Activists of the campaign, a conglomeration of several social activist groups, said they would continue their agitation at Jantar Mantar in central Delhi.
“The bill undermines the core issues of food security. It leaves a large population out of the Public Distribution System (PDS) by not universalising it. It gives only five kg of food grain per person each month through PDS, which is half to what is required in a month,” said Kavita Srivastava, national coordinator, Right to Food Campaign.
“Provision for only five kg of cereal makes a mockery of the bill and goes against the Supreme Court order, which had made 35 kg of cereal per household as PDS entitlement. Is this a Food Security Bill or a food insecurity bill?” she added.
“Grievance redressal begins at the district level, which is ridiculous as people with grievances need a redressal at the panchayat and gram sabha level,” Srivastava said.
The union cabinet Tuesday approved the National Food Security Bill which will give 67 percent of citizens entitlement to five kg rations per person each month at Rs.3 per kg for rice, Rs.2 per kg for wheat and Re.1 per kg for coarse grains.