Show resolve to ensure food security, CPI-M says

New Delhi, June 6 (IANS) The CPI-M Thursday asked the government to show “special resolve” — instead of convening a special session of parliament — to ensure food security to the people.

“What is required is not a special session of parliament; what is required is a special resolve by the government to provide genuine food security to the people,” the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) said.

An editorial in the party’s mouthpiece “People’s Democracy” demanded that adequate allocation must be made to make the public distribution system or PDS universal to help the poor in the country.

It pointed out that when the UPA-II government took office in 2009, then president Pratibha Patil had, on behalf of the government, pledged to legislate the Food Security Bill within 100 days.

“More than four years have passed since then. The government has not managed to bring such a bill (in) parliament. There was nobody to stop the government from doing so.

“In other words, the government has nobody to blame but itself for not fulfilling its own promise to the country and the people.”

The CPI-M accused the government of trying to derive political capital by making the issue of convening a special session of parliament to enact the legislation on food security an agenda for media speculation.

It said the government decision to provide 25 kg of foodgrain in all — rice at Rs.3 a kg, wheat at Rs.2 a kg and millets at Re.1 a kg — was “simply inadequate to eliminate hunger and malnutrition”.

“Any meaningful food security is only possible when all families in the country — at least 90 percent — are provided 35 kg of foodgrains at prices not exceeding Rs.2 per kg.

“Any measure short of this cannot provide comprehensive food security for our people.”

The editorial also found fault with the government move to provide cash to the poor to buy foodgrains.

This, it said, would render the the public distribution system superfluous.

“This is because the government would ask the people to buy their requirements from the open market against the cash that has been delivered to them.

“This is the classic recipe for the dismantling of the public distribution system.”

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