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Food ordinance to be in force from August 20

Bangalore, July 20, 2013, DHNS: 1:28 IST

Anna Bhagya scheme to make implementation easier: Minister

Member of Parliament and AICC spokesman Sandeep Dikshit addresses the media on National Food Security Ordinance at the KPCC office in Bangalore on Saturday. State Congress president G Parameshwara is with him. KPN
The State government has said that it will implement the Food Security Ordinance in Karnataka from August 20, on the occasion of the birth anniversary of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.

“It is also the birth anniversary of former chief minister D Devaraj Urs. We will start implementation of the ordinance on that day,”said Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president G Parameshwara. He said the State government would make additional financial provisions for the purpose.

“I don’t think it will be a problem for the State government to spend another Rs 3,000 crore for the purpose,” said Parameshwara.

On implementing the ordinance, Food and Civil Supplies Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao said it was a win-win situation for the State.

“With our Anna Bhagya programme already in place, the PDS system will just have to add a few more measures under the ordinance, like creating the Food Commission. We will be ready by August,” he said.

It is estimated that, in Karnataka, close to 70 lakh families will be covered apart from five other projects like ICDS scheme, mid-day scheme meal and the Rs-1,000 direct cash transfer scheme for pregnant and lactating mothers.

The Centre is likely to spend Rs 1.24 lakh crore per year towards implementing the Food Ordinance in the country.

AICC member and East Delhi MP Sandeep Dikshit dismissed rumours that the Centre faced financial constraints to implement it.

“The ordinance will combine six of the existing schemes. We will only spend Rs 24,000 crore, apart from the current expenses of Rs 1.1 lakh crore towards the scheme,” said Dikshit. It is said that the ordinance will cover close to 67 per cent of the country’s population.

On whether all non-Congress ruled states have agreed to implement the ordinance, Dikshit said the Centre has received no expression of interest till date.

He dismissed suggestions that the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre was trying the ordinance route for the campaign for next year’s Lok Sabha elections.
Dikshit dismissed the move of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi to hold 100 rallies in the next one year.

“If Modi wants to hold 100 or 500 rallys, those are BJP choices. The UPA is confident and strident in their focus on the next elections,” he said.

He also rubbished suggestions that the Centre was misusing the CBI, in the light of the premier investigating agency giving a clean chit to Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and former Railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal.

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