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June 3, 2013

UPA politicizing Food Security Bill – Mamata Banerjee

UPA politicizing Food Security Bill – Mamata Banerjee
Mamata Banerjee`s Facebook post dated June 3rd, 2013
A special Session of Parliament is reportedly being convened shortly to consider and pass the National Food Security Bill.
We strongly support providing food security to the people. But the manner, in which the UPA-II Government is trying to politicize the issue, is unjust. The proposed cash transfer in lieu of foodgrains will be of no use as banking infrastructure facilities are not available in remote areas, where the poorest and the tribals live. These promises are nothing but political gimmick. 
We have been emphasizing that the entire financial burden for development of infrastructure, storage facility, etc. must be borne entirely by the Government of India. Also, any shortfall of allocation of foodgrains to the State should be made over and protected by the Central Government through additional allocation.
There must also be explicit provision for providing adequate foodgrains to meet requirements at times of overall shortage. Food security allowances will not remove hunger in times of foodgrains shortage.
The State must be made the implementation agency and the identification of beneficiaries should be left to the State to decide.
Without a full-fledged implementation mechanism in place, will this be the right time for the UPA-II Government to rush through and legislate on a major issue like the proposed Food Security Bill, particularly when the General Election is knocking at the door? That too, by a Government whose majority is in doubt after the exit of AITC and DMK from the UPA-II ?