Nitish asks Centre to bear food security expenditure

Even as the Centre on Wednesday held a detailed consultation with Food Ministers of all the States, before bringing in the proposed National Food Security Bill, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has suggested to the Prime Minister that since it’s a central legislation, the Centre should bear its financial burden instead of leaving it to States for implementing the proposed legislation.

“Our considered view is that the bill is a central legislation, which has been proposed, pursuant to the central government’s own planning and policy. Therefore, it is the central government, which should bear the entire cost.

When the Government of India bears the entire expenditure related to the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS), then why substantial burden of enlarged entitlements and its implementation are being thrust upon the State unilaterally in this proposed legislation,” wondered Nitish, in his communiqué to Manmohan Singh on the proposed Food Security Bill.

Jaya opposes

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalitha on Wednesday conveyed to the Centre that the “National Food Security Bill, 2011, (NFSB)” if enacted, would slash Tamil Nadu’s foodgrain entitlement by as high as 25 per cent. She also urged the Centre not to thrust or force several features of NFSB on states.

While Tamil Nadu is now allocated 2.96 lakh tonnes of foodgrain per month by the Centre, features of the NFSB, which wants the states to move over to a Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS), will cut the foodgrain entitlement to 2.24 lakh tonnes, Jayalalitha has pointed out.

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