Monday, June 24, 2024

Tripura wants PDS for all, vents reservation on Food Security Bill


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From Our Correspondent

 AGARTALA: Tripura government has vented its reservation over some provisions in the draft Food Secretary Bill even as it welcomed the move of Congress led UPA government.

The government will not accept provisions of debarring 25 percent rural population and 50 percent urban population from PDS ambit, said Food and Civil Supplies Minister Manik Dey while talking to media at Civil Secretariat hereon Saturday.

Dey said the government has also expressed its reservation over the way the Draft Food Security Bill proposed 46 percent rural population and 28 percent urban families as priority households.

“Since large number of population will be denied of food security, the government strongly feels that there should be universal coverage of PDS”, he said.

Expressing serious concern over the move, Dey said that the government would not accept any pre-determined priority households as proposed in the proposed Bill. “ The government want the Centre to fix a nationwide criteria and undertake house to house survey to find out actual number of priority households”, he said.

The government has also lodged its reservation over the price of food grains under the Draft Food Security Bill.

The Bill proposed to entitlement of 7 kg per person per month against each priority household at a price of Rs. 3 per kg. “We accept the allotment of 7 kg but will suggest to withdraw the maximum quota- 35 kg against each family”, he said.

On the formation of district grievance redressal mechanism for enforcing various entitlements under the proposed Act, Dey said, “The state government recommends that full cost of redressal grievans set up should be borne by the Centre and procedures for working of the grievances rederessal mechanism should be finalized in consultation with the state government”.

On the constitutions of State Food Commission, the state government has explined its stand before the Centre. “ The section 20 of the Draft Bill provides that the state government shall provide for salary and allowances of the chairman, other members, member secretary and supporting staff and other administrative expenses.

The state government strongly feels that all such expenditure should be borne by the Centre.

Dey further said that the government has strongly said that Centre should ensure supply of foods grains to supply entitled quantity of food grains or meal to the entitled person. “ We are totally against giving cash to consumers in case failing to supply ration stuff”, he said.

Despite pointing out reservation on the Draft Food Security Bill, Dey give fulsome praise to the Centre for taking the move after 64 years of Independence.

Dey strongly felt that the price hike could not controlled if the Centre boosts the PDS in stead of weakening it.

“The state government has already sent its suggestions/ oppositions to the Centre after being approached by it”, he said.


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