Centre to compensate if foodgrain supply fails

Money equivalent to market rates will be paid

Centre to compensate if foodgrain supply fails

The proposed National Food Security Bill that guarantees foodgrain to all beneficiaries will also ensure that money will be given to compensate the government’s failure to provide foodgrain due to shortage of procurement.

“If the government agencies fail to procure required foodgrain from farmers due to natural calamity or lack of production, then authorities concerned will provide money to beneficiaries. Money will be provided to beneficiaries equivalent to market rate of per kg rice or wheat,” a senior official in the Ministry of Food told Deccan Herald.

“This provision was included to ensure that if the government fails to provide the promised foodgrain, beneficiaries should not be deprived of benefit,” the official said. Giving money will be a rare case. 

The bill aims to give legal rights to 67 per cent of the population over a uniform quantity of 5 kg foodgrain per person per month at a fixed price of Re 1 to Rs 3 per kg through ration shops.
Besides, the state governments have to appoint nodal officials in each taluk, district and at the state level to address grievances. These officials will be held responsible in case a beneficiary is deprived of the benefit. If any official fails to address issues then their salary will be deducted.
The state government will also have to set up a call centre to address grievances. Aiming for transparency in the execution of the scheme, the village panchayat will have greater role in identifying the beneficiaries and there will be a social audit in each panchayat annually.
Meanwhile, in an attempt to push the scheme, the UPA government is working hard to take opposition parties into confidence. Union Food Minister K V Thomas, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath will hold discussions with opposition parties to build consensus on convening a special session.
Sources have said if the government fails to garner support of the opposition parties for a special session of Parliament, it may not hesitate to advance the monsoon session to mid-July instead of first week of August.
DH News Service

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