Naveen slams Food Bill-2011

Bhubaneswar: Chief minister Naveen Pattanaik today reiterated his demand that the Centre should not put any cap on the number of beneficiaries under the National Food Security act. The Food Bill-2011 has already received the approval of the Union cabinet and would be soon tabled in the Parliament. About 67.5 per cent of the country`s population would avail subsidised food items under the plan.

Chief minister Naveen Pattanaik had written a letter to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in this regard on December 9. Naveen in his letter had urged the Prime Minister to include all sections of the society and not just the people below the poverty line under the food security act. The beneficiaries would avail seven kilos of food items per month at subsidised rates.

Naveen in his letter had strongly objected to the Centre for not consulting states while fixing the criteria for deciding the below poverty line. The Centre had fixed the criteria only in consultaion with the Planning Commission, Naveen had alleged. Naveen too has demanded that the Centre should bear the entire cost for creating infrastructure as well as other non-plan expenditures like the burden of payment of salaries for the people to be employed for implementation of the food security act. The total budget of the plan amounted to Rs. 3.5 lakh crore.