The parliamentary panel examining the National Food Security Bill is expected to submit its report by next month. Earlier, the government planned to introduce the Bill, aimed at expanding the existing Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS), in the winter session of Parliament. However, it could not do so, partly because the panel hasn’t submitted its report. A large numbers of petitions received by the parliamentary panel and a lack of consensus among states on the issue of entitlements are reasons for the delay.
“We have been conducting meetings every day to get feedback from various stakeholders on the proposed legislation and we are expected to hand over the report to Lok Sabha speaker by January 15,” Lok Sabha MP Vilas Muttemwar, who heads the panel, told FE. The panel has received more than 1.7 lakh petitions from civil society groups, state governments and citizens giving their suggestions on the issue.
The key issues being discussed by the parliamentary panel are about states that are already providing food grains at lower rates to poor families, although without legal entitlement.
“States such as UP have demanded universal coverage of subsidised foodgrain supply in rural UP and 95% coverage for urban areas,” Muttemwar said.