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Will poor get right to 35 kg foodgrains a month? Panel to decide today

PTI  New Delhi, April 05, 2010
First Published: 09:13 IST(5/4/2010) | Last Updated: 11:56 IST(5/4/2010)

A ministers' panel meeting on Monday is likely to consider raising poor families' entitlement for rice or wheat to 35 kg per month at Rs. 3 a kg.


The Empowered Group of Ministers of Food, headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, earlier on March 18 cleared the Food Security Bill, which provided poor families right to 25 kg of the foodgrain in a month.

The EGoM is revisiting the bill, the ambitious agenda of the UPA Government, amid speculation that the UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi wanted the scheme to provide a better deal for the Below Poverty Line families, estimated at 6.5 crore by the Planning Commission and also include women, chidlren and other sections of the society who don't figure in the official BPL list.

Activists have also been demanding that foodgrain entitlement under the proposed law be raised by 10 kg per month per BPL family since its quota at ration shops is already fixed at 35 kg.

The EGoM is also likely to make some changes in the complaint redressal mechanism provided in the draft bill, sources said.

Any person can file complaint if he/she does not receive foodgrain under the National Food Security Bill as it guarantees under the law.

The eGoM has also to grapple with the controversy different estimates of the BPL families. While the Planning Commission estimates have put the BPL families at 6.5 crore, the Prime Minister-appointed Tendulkar Committee has revised the figure upward.

The eGoM also includes Food and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, Home Minister P Chidambaram Commerce Minister Anand Sharma and Rural Development Minister C P Joshi.

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