Drought spoils farm sector's dream run
The year also saw the government failing to bring Food Security Bill, a pet project of UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, into the Parliament for passage.
The government also could not set up a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to look into the issues of farmers' suicide as promised by Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar in December 2011, despite the tragedy continuing to haunt some parts of the country. The Food Security Bill, which seeks to provide legal right over subsidised foodgrains to 70 per cent of population, was introduced in Parliament in December last year and was sent to the Parliamentary Standing Committee.
The panel is yet to submit recommendations, thus delaying the enactment of the legislation.
Nevertheless, the Centre was utilising the time and energy to fine tune the public distribution system (PDS) through computerisation and testing the feasibility of providing direct transfer of food subsidy to beneficiaries.
A pilot project in six union territories (UTs), namely Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu, Lakshadweep and Puducherry for direct transfer of food subsidy under PDS is on the anvil from next year.
Under this scheme, foodgrains will be issued to ration card holders at the economic cost.
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