Need to improve food bill, says Left

New Delhi, Sep 2 : The Left parties Monday expressed reservations over the current of the Food Security Bill, saying it falls short of expectations and vision and is just an expansion of existing schemes.

Listing out aspects of the legislation in its current form with which his party did not agree, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) member Sitaram Yechury said in the Rajya Sabha: "We will move four amendments to improve the bill, I hope the government accepts them."

The entitlements being promised under the bill were not enough for people to live with respect and without hunger, he said participating in a debate on the bill in the Rajya Sabha.

"There are lots of states which give more. Don't reduce the entitlement of states," he said.

Yechury lamented that on one hand government was giving food security, and on the other it was increasing prices of fuel.

Echoing similar views, Communist Party of India (CPI) leader D.Raja said: "The bill falls short of many expectations and falls in its vision... it appears just an expansion of all existing schemes."

Raja said farmers are the backbone of the food bill and the government should make a provision in the bill for providing minimum support price to farmers.

"We must have a mechanism of acquiring food grains from all farmers and ensure they get a minimum support price," he said.

He said pulses and oil should be included in the bill to ensure wholesome nutrition.

The Left leader called for consultation with state governments.

"This bill will adversely impact the federal structure of our country ... state government should be consulted before it is passed," he added.

--IANS (Posted on 02-09-2013)

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