Cabinet approves revised nutritional programme for children

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New Delhi, Sept 13 (UNI) Giving importance to children's nutrition for their physical and mental development, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) today approved extending the mid-day meal scheme to children in the government schools.

Briefing reporters after a meeting of the CCEA, Finance Minister P Chidambaram said the programme will be executed in two phases -- in 2007-08 it will extended to 3,479 educationally backward blocks and in 2008-09 it will be spread to all areas across the country.

He said the calorific value has been fixed at 700 calories and 20 grams of protein for the mid-day meals. He said 150 gram of food grains per child will be fixed for the upper primary stage by FCI on the existing terms and conditions.

CCEA also approved providing central assistance for cooked mid-day meal during summer vacations to school children in the upper primary stage in areas declared by state governments as drought-affected.

There is also provision for central assistance for kitchen devices to upper primary schools at the rate of Rs 5,000 per school.

The transport subsidy for eleven special category states -- Arunachal Pradesh, Maniupur, Meghalaya, Mizorama, Nagaland, Tripura, Sikkim, Himachal, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttarakhand from Rs 100 per quintal to Rs 125 per quintal, Mr Chidambaram said.

UNI

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