NGOs protest proposed National Food Security Act

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New Delhi, Apr 17 (ANI): As part of a five-day-sit-in protest, scores of activists under the umbrella of the Right to Food Campaign protested the proposed National Food Security Act, here on Saturday.

The Union Government is trying to table the Bill in the current session of the Parliament.

Staging a protest in front of the Planning Commission office, activists said the government should not restrict itself to provide just 25 kilograms of grain to families living below the poverty line (BPL).

Earlier, the Supreme Court also directed that BPL families should get 35 kilograms of grain per household.

The Bill proposes to provide 25 kilograms of rice or wheat per month at the rate of Rs. three per kilogram to each family living below poverty line (BPL).

The activists demand at least 50 kilograms of grain for a family of five must be provided every month to families living above and below poverty line.

Kavita Srivastava, an activist with People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), said the government must not divide the people on the basis of families living above poverty line (APL) and below the poverty line (BPL).

"When it comes to buying guns, arms, defence...to fight the Pakistanis, to fight the Maoists, that time where does the money come from? When it comes to building nuclear defence programmes, where does the money come from? Here, it is the question of chronic malnutrition, chronic hunger," said Srivastava.

"It is a question of 80 percent of the population, which the National Sample Survey says is living below the calorific value. All of us know it's 2,400 for the nation in rural areas and 2,100 in urban areas; it's 1,800 and 1,900 currently," she added.

The proposed Food Security Bill was almost finalised by the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM), headed by Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee but failed to include vulnerable groups in its purview. (ANI)

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