Kerala opposes food security Bill

Written by Sandip Das | New Delhi | Updated: Feb 9 2012, 06:04am hrs
Kerala on Wednesday raised serious apprehensions on the effectiveness of the proposed national food security law as it could remove large number of poor families from the beneficiary list besides putting enormous financial burden on the state.

Shibu Baby John, food and civil supplies minister, Kerala said the centre must apply separate socio-economic critieria for choosing beneficiaries under the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) as because of better human index of the state, many families could be deprived from getting benefits of subsidised grain.

We have asked the centre to clarify the financial implication of the proposed food bill on the state finance, John told FE.

In a letter to food ministry in October, 2011 Kerala government had maintained that identification of the population below the poverty lines in the state which is being undertaken has led to the exclusion of a significant number of people who are below the poverty line.

John said that there is discrepancies in the number of BPL families in the state. As per the state government data, there are 20 lakh BPL families in the state while the centre says that there are 15 lakh BPL families. The estimate drawn up through the local self-government assesses the number of BPL families at 32 lakh.

Evidently the methodology adopted by the government of India in determination of poverty estimates based on statistical methods clearly leads to a significant exclusion of poor families from coverage, the letter from food, civil supplies and consumer affairs department of Kerala to Food ministry had noted.