The Gujarat High Court today sought the state government’s reply on a petition seeking hike in the budgetary allocation of mid-day meal scheme from the existing Rs 4.17 per child per day.
A division bench of Chief Justice R Subhash Reddy and Justice V M Pancholi today asked the government pleader to submit the reply on the matter during the next hearing scheduled on September 21.
Petitioner K R Koshti filed a civil application in connection with his PIL that he had filed in January alleging non-implementation of the National Food Security Act, 2013 in the state, even as the state later (in April) implemented the Act as ‘Maa Annanpurna’ scheme.
In the application, Koshti said that Rs 4.17 per child budget under mid-day meal scheme should be revised and hiked considering that the money was not enough to cover food requirements of a beneficiary in the light of increased cost of food items.
He contended that the Supreme Court had recommended eggs and milk be given at least three times a week under the scheme, but under the existing allocation it is not possible to cover this.
He also sought the court’s direction to the government not to hand over the operations of the mid-day meal scheme to NGOs, saying that the state alone should be responsible for its implementation.