PM’s panel recommends cheap food for poor

New Delhi, January 13 (Agencies): Prime Minister’s expert committee on National Food Security Bill today recommended that the assured delivery of wheat at Rs 2/kg and rice at Rs 3/kg could be given only to poor and expressed difficulty in accommodating category in view of projected food availability. In contrast, National Advisory Council (NAC), headed by UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, had recommended legal entitlement to subsidised foodgrains to both ‘priority’ and ‘general’ households, covering at least 75% of the country’s population.
“EC recommends the assured delivery of foodgrains at Rs 2 per kg for wheat and Rs 3 per kg for rice, to the really needy households and the coverage of the rest through an executive order with a varying quantum depending on the availability of foodgrains,” the committee, which is headed by PMEAC Chairman C Rangarajan, said in its report. The committee has suggested the legal entitlement to 46 per cent of rural and 28 per cent of urban population, which it said “are the same as NAC recommended ‘priority’ households”. This captures not only the poor but also some at the margin, the report added.
“National Food Security Bill (NFSB) creates a statutory entitlement for the included population and a legal obligation for the government, hence important to mandate enforceable entitlements keeping in mind the availability of grain,” it argued. In its election manifesto, the Congress Party had promised to bring food law, under which it would provide 25 kg of wheat or rice per month at Rs 3 per kg to the poor. The committee pointed out that foodgrains requirement as well as subsidy outgo projection by the NAC is on the lower side.
Gadkari blames Cong rule for poverty

Rewa (MP), January 13 (PTI):
Blaming policies of successive Congress governments for the plight of the poor, BJP President Nitin Gadkari today said that the amount of money involved in 2G and CWG scams was enough to eradicate poverty.
“Due to the wrong policies of the successive Congress Governments since independence, and the corruption, the poor in the country are becoming poorer,” Gadkari said whileaddressing the Antyodaya Mela here. “If the Rs 1.76 lakh crore and Rs 70,000 crore involved in 2G and CWG scams had been spent on the welfare of the poor, poverty could have been eradicated from the country by now,” the BJP president said.