Food Security Bill to be finalised soon, says PC

Food Security Bill to be finalised soon, says PC

DEJECTED: A senior citizen rests after attending an anti-government protest against price rise in New Delhi on Sunday. The Home Minister on Sunday said the Right to Food Act is on the anvil. PTI

“The Right to Food is the next important legislation that will be coming soon after the Right to Education that took effect from April 1, as part of the government’s rights-based approach,” Chidambaram said addressing a function here to mark B R Ambedkar’s 119th birth anniversary.

The minister used the occasion to strongly bat for the UPA regime’s “rights-based inclusive approach” to development.

In the function held under the auspices of ‘Thirukulam Sindhanaiyalar Maiyam’, a forum for the uplift of Dalits started by Dr Vallalperuman, a former Congress MP from the state, the home minister urged the people to make utmost use of the Centre’s education loans and scholarship schemes.

 “Education is the key to overcome all social and cultural disabilities, including those imposed by caste and poverty,” he said.

In an oblique reference to violence being no solution to conflicts, Chidambaram called for a healthy debate on the Congress’ “inclusive approach” to growth and development issues.

Paying rich tributes to the late Ambedkar, architect of the Indian Constitution, the Home Minister said not many knew that the former was also a “great economics expert”.
Referring to the amendments made to the Indian Constitution after Independence, Chidambaram said such amendments were not to fault the founding fathers of the Constitution. Any living document like the Constitution would have to be amended to make it more relevant to the changing times.

Giving “full credit” to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for the recent economic policies and reforms,  Chidambaram said high economic growth rates have helped substantial hikes in the budget for the Special Component Plan for SC/ST.

The Central budget allocation under this category alone had jumped from Rs 6523 crore in 2005-06 to Rs 22,959 crore in 2008-09. Thus ‘inclusive growth’ presupposed high economic growth rates, Chidambaram emphasised.

 By March 2010, for the first time post-Independence, education loans across India would have touched an unprecedented Rs 40,000 crore, benefiting 25lakh students from the SC/ST/BC communities, he added.

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