Food Bill ready, Jean Drze wants to leave NAC

Food Bill ready, Jean Drze wants to leave NAC

Drèze, who was born in Belgium, was also instrumental in framing the UPA-I Government’s landmark National Rural Employment Guarantee Act in 2005. The Act intended to provide livelihood security to millions of rural poor was later re-christened after Mahatma Gandhi.
Sources said Drèze had requested Gandhi that his membership of the NAC should not be renewed as he felt that he had already done his job by helping the panel draft the National Food Security Bill.

The NAC, the UPA Government’s mechanism for interface with the civil society, has finalized the draft Food Security Bill and is now set to send it to the Prime Minister’s Office.The Food Security Bill seeks to give a legal entitlement to food-grains to all, particularly to the poor and other vulnerable groups of population at a very subsidized rate. The Government might introduce it in the Parliament during the monsoon session beginning on August 1 next.
Drèze, 52, lived in India since 1979 and became an Indian citizen in 2002. He studied

Mathematical Economics at the University of Essex and did his PhD (Economics) at the Indian Statistical Institute in New Delhi. He taught at the London School of Economics and the Delhi School of Economics, and is now a Visiting Professor at Allahabad University. He had extensively worked on issues related to development economics , with special reference to India. He was a member of the first incarnation of the NAC, which was set up on May 31, 2004, but ceased to exist after Gandhi resigned as its chairperson on March 23, 2008, in the wake of the office-of-profit controversy.

He not only helped the NAC draft the MGNREGA, but has since been actively campaigning for its proper implementation.  It is not yet known if Gandhi has accepted Drèze’s request. But his name is yet to be removed from the official website of NAC.

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