Food security: PM says will seriously evaluate NAC recommendations

On Air India One, Oct. 30 (ANI): The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, on Saturday, said that on his return to New Delhi, he would study the recommendations made by the National Advisory Council (NAC) on the issue of food security.

Interacting with media persons accompanying him a three-nation visit to Japan, Malaysia and Vietnam, on a wide range of subjects onboard his special aircraft, Dr. Singh said: "When I will go back, I will try to acquaint myself with the recommendations of the NAC."

"Those recommendations have to be taken seriously. Therefore, our government will apply itself seriously to evaluate those recommendations," he added.

Last week, it may be recalled that the Congress President Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory Council (NAC) had recommended food security cover for roughly eighty crore people in the country through Public Distribution System network.

It suggested the implementation of the first phase of the proposed food security legislation from the beginning of next financial year and covering the entire country by 2014.

The recommendations were finalized at the sixth meeting of the Council held in New Delhi.

The NAC also decided to set aside the Below Poverty Line (BPL) criteria and suggested two broad categories - priority and general - eligible for legal foodgrain entitlement under the proposed food security law.

It stated that under the priority category, 35 kilograms of food grains should be provided every month at the subsidised rate of two rupees a kilogram for wheat, three rupees a kg for rice and one rupee kg for millets.

The recommendation for the general category households is for a legal monthly entitlement of 20 kilograms of food grains at a price not exceeding 50 per cent of the minimum support price.

Later, a member of the NAC, Narendra Jadva, said the first phase of the implementation may lead to an additional expenditure of over 15,000 crore rupees in food subsidiaries.

The NAC has also suggested universalising primary healthcare, extending nutrition and health support to adolescent girls, strengthening the school health programme, the programme for Vitamin A, iodine and iron supplementation and the national programme for creches. By Naveen Kapoor(ANI)

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