Food Security Bill expected to come up at 1 July NAC

Food Security Bill expected to come up at 1 July NAC

New Delhi: UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi will deliberate on the ways and means to ensure food security for the poor at a meeting of the National Advisory Council (NAC) on Thursday.

The ambitious Food Security Bill, which has been pending for sometime, is expected to come up for scrutiny at the meeting.

The Council is meeting at a time when the food inflation is hovering around 17%. Gandhi had earlier sought improvements in the draft bill cleared by an Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM).

The improvements sought were with regard to monthly food supply and the number of beneficiaries. The bill seeks to provide legal right to poor to get rice or wheat at Rs3 per kg.

With conflicting estimates about the number of poor — the intended beneficiaries, the EGoM has asked the Planning Commission to provide correct figure of the number of people living below the poverty line.

Besides the meeting, the first after the introductory one on 10 June, is also expected to deliberate on the much-delayed Communal Violence Bill.

The NAC would also review the flagship programmes of the government and suggest measures to address constraints in their implementation.

Sources said the meeting is also likely to discuss procedures to be adopted for consultations with various ministries as also for drawing up the agenda for the Council meetings.

At the first meeting, the NAC emphasised that the people have “high expectations" from the advisory body which played a key role in enactment of the Right to Information Act and the rural jobs scheme during UPA-I.

The 14-member NAC, headed by Gandhi, was constituted on 1 June and is expected to advise the government on various social programmes like food security and rural development.