'Policy-making not for courts'
In an observation that could spark off a new debate on the divide between the executive and the legislature, the Prime Minister on Monday suggested that Supreme Court not get into the "realm of policy formulation".delhi Updated: Sep 06, 2010 23:58 IST
In an observation that could spark off a new debate on the divide between the executive and the legislature, the Prime Minister on Monday suggested that Supreme Court not get into the "realm of policy formulation".
He was reacting to a question on the apex court's order to distribute free grain that is rotting in the open.
The Prime Minister though added that he had not seen the final judgment of the court and that he respected the sentiments behind the decision that a way should be found to ensure useful disposal of food grains to meet needs of the people. But he said that it was not possible to distribute the grain for free.
"How can food grains be distributed free to an estimated 37 per cent of the population which lives below the poverty line," Singh said in his interaction with editors at his 7 Race Course Road residence.
"I do recognise that food should be available to the people below poverty line at concessional prices. We have not allowed any increase in the issue price of food grains to people below poverty line since 2004," he said.
"At the same time making food available free would destroy incentives to farmers to produce more. If there was no food available, there would be nothing to distribute."
Singh also asserted that government had taken adequate steps, to the extent possible, in useful disbursal while noting the apex court's concern of food made available to the poor at affordable price.