what we got and what we need to struggle for on the food security Bill.
What we got
· 1. Acknowledgement of hunger and malnutrition and the question of food becomes a legal entitlement
· 2. Doubling of the coverage, from 36% to 67% in the PDS
· 3. Strengthening and expansion of the PDS, from a situation of it being dismantled to the fair price shop and the ration system being there to stay.
· 4. Although we are disappointed that is not universal, but it is the first step towards moving away from the poverty line based divisions of APL and BPl,
· 5. The struggle will now move into states for criteria in UP, Bihar, Jharkhand, where the coverage of the rural pop will be over 80%. We hope that we can fight for a simple exclusion criteria based approach for selection
· 6. That the States who were buying huge quantum of APL grain like TN, kerala, AP
· will continue getting it at current APL prices, so at least there is no loss. ( Schedule IV)
· 7. The maternal entitlements will now be universal, we will have to fight in the rules, that they donot bring two child norm and other conditionality’s.
· 8. In Schedule II the deletion of note 1 , 2 and nb have atleast prevented the logic for the entry of contractors. Although the clauses asking for removal of commercial interest from all food schemes and preferences to local community women’s groups and Panchayats has not come in.
What remains and the battle ahead to ensure amendments, getting it in party manifestos, trying to see that we can ensure this in our States.
1. Universal coverage of PDS or All residents be covered except those who are exclusion criteria of income tax, permanent Government employee, four wheeler for personal use.
2. Provisioning of adequate Dal – Tel
3. Provisioning of 14 kgs adult and 7kgs for under 12 years. ( average 10 kgs)
4. Remuneration for Farmers and MSP and income guarantee and other protection for farmers.
5. Prices can change after of 3 years, schedule I remains.
6. Commercial interest in food not fully removed
7. Maternal entitlements has not be clearly stated that it is unconditional and not indexed and linked to minimum wages.
8. Cash Transfers and Aadhar remains
9. GM foods remains.
10. Section on Food security allowance and section 44, “force majure” relating to withdrwal of the right in times of natural calamities
and war remains
Download the National Food Security Act here
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