The National Advisory Council (NAC), headed by Sonia Gandhi, will give final shape to a draft food security law incorporating its suggestion of differential legal entitlement of foodgrains to nearly 800 million people through a reformed PDS network.
Some members of the NAC were keen on drafting the food security bill themselves and we will discuss the matter on Friday, a member of the advisory panel told PTI. “Our endeavour would be to prepare an absolute final draft which can be sent to Parliament,” another member said.
At its previous meeting, the NAC had recommended having differential legal entitlements of foodgrains. The NAC had also decided to set aside the BPL criteria and suggested two broad categories — priority and general –eligible for legal foodgrain entitlement under the proposed food security law.
As per the recommendations, those under the ‘priority’ category will have a monthly entitlement of Rs 35 kg foodgrains at a subsidised price of Re 1 per kg for millets, Rs 2 per kg for wheat and Rs 3 per kg for rice. The ‘general’ category households will have a legal monthly entitlement of 20 kg of foodgrains at a price not exceeding 50 per cent of the Minimum Support Price.
Though supportive of the initiative of his colleagues, a NAC member felt it would have been better to leave the task of drafting Bills to the ministry concerned and the Law Ministry.
The Gandhi-led panel will also be given a presentation on the progress on the re-drafting of the Communal Violence Bill.
“It will still take some time, I think a couple of months more for the Communal Violence Bill to be finalised,” a member said. The next big topic on the NAC Agenda is discussion on ways to contain Left Wing Extremism, the member said, adding that the panel will look at success stories in containing the spread of Maoist activities in some states and examine whether the same could be applied elsewhere.