Says National Food Security Bill will cause deficit of 1 lakh tonnes of rice

The National Food Security Bill would hamper public distribution system in Tamil Nadu by causing a deficit of 1 lakh tonnes of rice, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa said on Thursday.

Speaking after unfurling the national tri-colour here, Ms. Jayalalithaa said she had written to the Union government seeking certain changes in the Food Security Bill. However, she assured the people that the universal public distribution system would continue in the State.

The Chief Minister said that though her government introduced many welfare schemes, the incorrect policies of the Centre had triggered frequent hike in the prices of petrol/diesel and other essential commodities.

However, the State had taken various steps to alleviate the burden of the common man.

Explaining how the AIADMK government ensured the rights of Tamil Nadu on the Cauvery and Mullaperiyar Dam issues, she expressed hope that the rights over Katchatheevu would also be established. On the industrial front, 17 companies were in the process of setting up their establishments in the State that would create more than 2 lakh jobs.

Ms. Jayalalithaa concluded her speech by making an announcement that the pension for freedom fighters would be enhanced from Rs. 7,000 to Rs. 9,000 per month with effect from August 1, 2013. Family pension benefiting the legal heirs of freedom fighters would also be increased from Rs. 3,500 to Rs. 4,500 per month.

The awards for ‘Exemplary Service for the Welfare of the Differently Abled’ went to C. Ramesh, Head of the Department, Government Rehabilitation Centre, Chennai, K. Murali, Director, TEF Leaders, Coimbatore, ‘Udhavum Ullangal’, Government Estate, Vellore, Joseph Eye Hospital, Tharangaivasam, Tiruchi and the District Cooperative Bank, Vellore district.

While Vasantha Kumari of Saras Trust, Udhagamandalam, was given the Best Social Worker (for outstanding work done for women), the award for best institution (serving women) went to ‘Virutcham Magalir Munnetra Kazhangiam’, Virudhunagar district.

The Department of Revenue Administration, Disaster Management and Mitigation was among the recipients of the Chief Minister’s Best Practices Award.

When Ms Jayalalithaa arrived at Fort St.George, she was received by Chief Secretary Sheela Balakrishnan, Director-General of Police K. Ramanujam. She took salute and inspected the guard of honour.

Earlier, Ms Jayalalithaa placed a wreath at the War Memorial.