Home India News Food security bill distressing, NGO tells PM

Food security bill distressing, NGO tells PM


New Delhi : In an open letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the Right to Food campaign Thursday termed as “distressing” the reduction proposed in the food grain entitlement in the National Food Security Act draft bill.

According to the letter, the bill proposes an entitlement of 25 kg of food grain at Rs.3 per kg to each below-poverty-line (BPL) household. This, however, is lower than the current entitlement of 35 kg per household as mandated by the Supreme Court.

It said the proposed reduction would not address the nutritional needs of the people.

“We are distressed by the proposed draft bill of the National Food Security Act. A legislation that promises a right but in reality reduces the existing entitlement is completely unacceptable to the people of India and an affront on their dignity,” the letter said.

“To make matters worse, the proposed bill seeks to restrict this entitlement to just BPL families. Child malnutrition rate in India at 46 percent is amongst the highest in the world as well as a high maternal mortality. Nothing short of a universal entitlement for the Public Distribution System would suffice to change the existing situation,” it added.

The draft bill has been cleared by the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) for discussion in the cabinet.

“We are reeling under the worst food inflation in the last three decades and are dismayed at your government’s refusal to bring down prices. At such a time this bill makes a further mockery of growing hunger and malnutrition,” the NGO’s letter added.

The Right to Food is a network of civil society groups and individuals committed to “the realisation of the right to food in India”.