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NRI Worldwide > Images of India

Hunger games stalk Food Bill….

Hunger games stalk Food Bill….
Even as the world’s largest democracy celebrated its 67th Independence Day on Aug 15, more than 200 million Indians went to bed hungry. According to United Nations World Food Programme, 1/3 of the world’s hungry live in India and on an average, 7,000 people die due to hunger every day. The Food Security Bill seeks to subsidise food grains for nearly 67 per cent of India’s population of 1.2 billion. Beneficiaries will be entitled to rice, wheat and coarse grains at Rs.3, Rs.2 and Re.1 per kg, respectively. Pregnant women and lactating mothers will be entitled to free meals from pregnancy until six months after child birth. A cross-section of academics and social rights luminaries feel that the Food Security Bill in its current form has too many loopholes and loose ends that raise doubts about the sincerity behind the proposed legislation. The aspect of political gimmickry. Though food security was part of the current UPA government’s 100-day objective, it did not happen in the first 100 or 200 days, not even in the first, second or third year. It is only towards the end of the government’s second term that the Bill has been moved. This shows a lack of sincerity on the part of the Cabinet to address the issue. Food security is a necessity but the concomitant pandering to vote bank politics is probably its collateral.

Report dated 19/08/2013.

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