Tamil Nadu chief Minister J Jayalalithaa wants Tamil Nadu exempted from implementing the Food Security Bill.
In a letter to the Prime Minister, AIADMK chief, has said that the choice of implementing welfare schemes should be best left to states. She has said that the proposed bill on food security replete with confusion. The very basis of target groups unscientific & unacceptable, she wrote.
In the letter, Jayalalithaa said the Centre should not encroach upon domains of states.
The Union Cabinet had cleared the National Food Security Bill on December 18. It is expected to be tabled in this session of Parliament.
The bill, which bears the stamp of Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory Council, seeks to cover upto 75 per cent of the rural population and 50 per cent of urban households. It seeks to grant the right to 7 kilograms food grains per month per person, at Rs. 3 per kg for rice, Rs. 2 per kg for wheat and Rs. 1 per kg for coarse grains to the priority beneficiaries.
General households would get at least three kilograms of food grains per person at 50 per cent of the minimum support price.
Under the present Public Distribution System (PDS), the government provides 35 kg of wheat and rice per month to 6.52 crore Below Poverty Line (BPL) families at Rs. 4.15 and Rs. 5.65 per kg, respectively. About 11.5 crore APL (Above Poverty Line) families gets between 15 and 35 kg of wheat and rice per month at Rs. 6.10 and Rs. 8.30/kg, respectively.
The Food Security Bill also promises hot, mid-day meals for children up to 14 years of age and Rs. 6,000 for all pregnant and lactating women – all this will now be a legal entitlement. The bill provides for cash reimbursement if the government fails to provide subsidised food grains because of natural calamities such as drought and floods.