Food bill intended to eradicate poverty in the country

Thiruvananthapuram, July 16: Terming the proposed Food Security Bill as a "landmark legislation", Congress leader and Harayana Minister Randeep Singh Sujarwala today said it intended not only to eradicate poverty but also to ensure nutritious food to women and children in the country.

Talking to reporters here, he said priority households were entitled to get five kgs of food grains per person per month, and those under the Antyodaya scheme would get 35 kgs per household per month.

In Kerala the new scheme was expected to benefit about 1.41 crore people, he said. The combined coverage of Priority and Antyodaya households would come about 75 per cent of the rural population and up to 50 per cent of the urban population in the country, he said.

On other key parameters, he said to the children in the age group of 6 months to 6 years the Bill guarantees an age-appropriate meal, free of charge, through the local anganwadi.

For children aged 6-14 years, one free mid-day meal shall be provided every day in all schools run by local bodies, government and government aided schools, up to Class VIII.

Children who suffer from malnutrition will be identified through the local anganwadi and meals will be provided to them free of charge through the local anganwadi, he said. Every pregnant and lactating mother was entitled to a free meal at the local anganwadi (during pregnancy and six months after child birth) as well as maternity benefits of Rs 6,000, in instalments, he said.

The identification of eligible households is left to state governments, he said.

The lists of eligible households are to be placed in the public domain and displayed prominently by state governments, he added.


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