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Protest over food security bill tomorrow

delhi Updated: Apr 14, 2010 19:30 IST

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With Parliament opening after a month-long break on Thursday, a group of NGOs will stage a protest in New Delhi over the food security bill that proposes an entitlement of 25 kg food grain for families below the poverty line.

Annie Raja of the National Federation for Indian Women said: "Since Parliament is beginning Thursday, it is important to knock on the policy makers' doors from day one itself. Our parliament must know the betrayal that the Indian government would be committing to the people of this country if it agrees to this minimalistic bill."

In a letter to the prime minister last month, the NGOs said: "We are distressed by the proposed draft bill of the National Food Security Act which proposes an entitlement of 25 kg of food grain at Rs 3 per kg to each below-poverty-line (BPL) household. This is lower than the current entitlement of 35 kg per household as mandated by the Supreme Court."

"Nothing short of a universal entitlement for the public distribution system would suffice to change the existing situation," it added.

The protest will take place at Jantar Mantar in the heart of the capital. A large number of social activists and others from as many as 16 states across the country are expected to participate.