Government to provide food security to poor

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New Delhi, Sept 24: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's commitment to bring more reforms to strengthen the Indian economy continues. This time Congress-led UPA government is all set to build a strong and efficient Public Distribution System (PDS), to help provide food to all. A massive overhaul of PDS would be discussed at a meeting by Union Cabinet on Monday, Sept 24.

Government is planning to pump in Rs 42,000 crore to check the leakage in the system, informed sources. Currently, the system is said to be having a leakage of almost 62 per cent. Under the new system, the consumers will receive SMS alerts about ration stocks.

However, some bad news awaits aam aadmi as announcement on the hike in sugar rationing is also expected.

Earlier, Law Minister Salman Khurshid on Sunday had informed the government's keenness to push bills on food security and land acquisition.

Khurshid added that "the bills drive a deft political balance between populism and reforms".

"The draft (food security) Bill is being given the final touches by the Cabinet. This will ensure that poor will have their stomachs full. Nobody will sleep hungry. And when the law comes into force, people will get good food at low prices. 70 per cent of India will come into the ambit. We want to see which party can oppose the food Bill," Khurshid had told a TV channel.

The proposed Food Security Bill is estimated to cost the exchequer at least Rs 1.19 lakh crore in way of subsidy.

"We will also table the Land Acquisition Bill. This was (Trinamool Congress chief) Mamata's agenda at Singur. Can she oppose the Bill now? We are confident that SP and other allies will back this Bill. So there's no cause of concern about numbers in Parliament," Khurshid added.

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