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‘Food entitlements are woefully low’

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, March 19, 2013
First Published: 22:42 IST(19/3/2013) | Last Updated: 00:03 IST(20/3/2013)

Just 165 grams of cereals a person will get every day once the national food security law comes into effect, the Right To Food (RTF) campaign said on Tuesday.


Reacting to the Cabinet’s approval of the bill, the campaign said the food entitlement would be woefully short of government’s own norm for nutritional requirement of a person.

The campaign said that the provision of providing only 5 kg of cereals to a person in a month not only makes a mockery of the intent of the bill but also goes against the Supreme Court order which had made 35 kgs of food grains per household an entitlement.

The Indian Council for Medical Research prescribes consumption of 14 kgs of food grains by an adult and seven kg by a child to maintain good health.

“Is this a Food Security Bill or a Food insecurity Bill, we would like to ask. Especially when the godowns are bursting will food grains this entitlement could have been raised,” the campaign said, while rejecting the food security bill.

The campaign also expressed its shock at the government’s attempt to allow contractors and multi-national corporations to provide food under the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) and Midday Meal Scheme, contrary to the Supreme Court orders.

“The orders of the Supreme Court of keeping contractors and corporate out of food schemes for children would be reversed as this opens  the door for contractors and companies in supply of food in ICDS, in Take Home Rations in particular,” the campaign said.

The food security bill also intends to make mockery of the public distribution system (PDS) by allowing subsidised food grains to only 67% of the population, the campaign said.

It also expressed its dismay at leaving out destitute from the provision of the bill and said it showed lack of government’s commitment toward the poorest of the poor.

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