The Chairman of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister, C. Rangarajan, who was earlier not in favour of the inclusion of above poverty line (APL) families under the proposed Food Security Bill, said on Monday that they could be given legal entitlements with lesser quantity of foodgrains.

“The general category can be given legal entitlement, but that entitlement can be lowered than what the entitlement can be for the BPL [under the public distribution system]. I think along these lines, the government is also thinking on drafting the new bill,” he told journalists here.

In the economic outlook report for this fiscal released on Monday, the advisory council called for “systemic reform” in the PDS for implementation of the proposed legislation.

“Two interventions which can make considerable impact are comprehensive computerisation of the PDS and introduction of smart cards for the beneficiaries.”

The government now allocates 35 kg of wheat or rice for BPL families and about 15 kg of foodgrains for APL families.

An expert committee headed by Dr. Rangarajan had recommended food entitlements for the needy households while suggesting the coverage of the rest through an executive order with varying quantity depending upon the availability of foodgrains.

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