Cong chief meets Thomas, reviews food law progress | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Cong chief meets Thomas, reviews food law progress

delhi Updated: Oct 08, 2011 23:49 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Saturday met food minister KV Thomas to review the progress on bringing to Parliament the proposed food security law.

Gandhi is understood to have been given a time-frame by which it would be possible to enact the legislation.

The UPA government is banking on the proposed food law - the single largest welfare scheme of the government in terms of spending - to boost its ratings in the face of runaway inflation and corruption scandals.

"Sonia ji wants the food security law to be speedily implemented and we are committed on this," Thomas said.

Gandhi has now returned to her active schedule after a brief spell of medical treatment abroad and the meeting the food minister was in her capacity as the chairperson of the National Advisory Council (NAC), which oversees the government's social agenda.

Gandhi has been concerned over the need for adequate infrastructure to sustain the food law.

Thomas apprised her about the various initiatives necessary to pull off the food law, such as augmentation of storage capacity and steps to ensure prompt and uninterrupted supply of foodgrains, especially in the northeast.

The meeting came amid recent criticism that a new, official poverty benchmark had been set low to restrict the number of households receiving government handouts.

Thomas also apprised Gandhi about a fresh set of multi-dimensional indicators - not the official poverty line - to be used to identify 46% of all Indians who would make up a 'priority' class for highly subsidised food entitlements.

The proposed priority group will comprise 14% more people than provided for by current estimates of those below the poverty line.