Patna, Aug 6: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday maintained that he supported the food security bill in spirit, but said he had certain reservations about its provisions which his party members would raise in the Parliament.
"We support the food security bill in spirit. We are also glad that the Centre has accepted some of our recommendations aimed at fine-tuning the provisions of the bill, but some of our recommendations have been ignored by the government which we will raise in parliament," Kumar said in a press conference.
Kumar said that the people of Bihar stood to benefit from the food security bill which has come into effect after enactment of an ordinance by the government last month.
He said 85 per cent of the rural people and 70 to 75 per cent of the urban poor people would be covered under the bill aimed at providing subsidised food.
Kumar said he was making an assessment about coverage of specific percentage of the poor in Bihar under the food security bill with identification of beneficiaries yet to be completed.
The chief minister said he had demanded constitution of a BPL commission on a permanent basis to keep a record of eligible beneficiaries under the food security bill throughout the country which the Centre was to consider.
"It is necessary that there should be an independent authority to maintain record of beneficiaries under the food security bill by regularly including or excluding names of families which are either eligible or ineligible to get the benefit," he said.
Kumar said that he had also suggested that there should be five members of the proposed seven-member food security commission which should comprise women, minorities, EBCs, OBCs and deprived sections from rural backgrounds.
The Centre, however, had failed to incorporate the suggestion on inclusion of people from rural and poor backgrounds in the proposed food security commission to be set up at the Centre and in states to monitor implementation, he said.
The chief minister said he would like the Centre to bear the cost of creation of infrastructure for storage of food grains and additional purchase of food grains to meet the requirements for beneficiaries.