The Communist Party of India (Marxist) has flayed the Food Security Bill proposed by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government, stating that the bill envisaged reduction in the quantity of foodgrains supplied at subsidised rates under the public distribution system (PDS).
Addressing a demonstration here on Wednesday to press the Centre to implement a Food Security Bill that covered all people except those paying income tax, CPI(M) MLA R.Annadurai said the bill proposed to cover only 67 per cent of the population. He said while 12 States were supplying up to 35 kg of rice a month – either free of cost or at Rs.2 a kg – the UPA proposed to supply only 25 kg of rice a month at a rate of Rs.3 a kg.
Ironically, even as a large number of people were dependent on commodities supplied through ration shops because of poverty and unemployment, the Bill proposed to reduce the quantity of foodgrains supplied at subsidised rates instead of increasing them.
The PDS in Tamil Nadu would be affected if the Bill was implemented in the present form as the monthly allocation of rice to the State would be reduced to one lakh tonnes from 2.96 lakh tonnes, he said.
Party’s urban district secretary B.Vikraman, and Corporation Councillor M.Chellam also took part in the protest.