New Delhi: The government is expected to table the Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill, 2011 and National Food Security Bill in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday. But even even before the two landmark bills are tabled in Parliament, there has been some controversy too.
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh opposing the Food Security Bill. Modi has claimed that state governments are not being given a say in determining 'the eligibility criteria' and has asked him to call a meeting of chief ministers on the bill.
However, Congress General Secretary Digvijaya Singh has taken a dig at Modi for overstepping Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj.
In his letter Modi alleged that poor families have been made "food insecure" through the Ordinance which "does not fulfill the basic objectives of food security". In his letter dated August 7, Modi charged that under the Ordinance, "unworkable statutory responsibilities have been given to central and state governments" and the "number of beneficiaries has been fixed without specifying eligibility criteria and fix individual entitlements.
Between different states, there could be wide regional disparities". The Standing Committee of Parliament had in January, 2013 recommended that government should formulate eligibility criteria in consultation with state governments, according to Modi.
The letter said the Ordinance proposes to reduce the entitlement of BPL families from 35 kg per family to only 25 kg per average family of 5 persons and added "this cannot be the objective of any food security legislation which reduces the entitlement of those who have been identified as being below the poverty line".
On the one hand, the Planning Commission has been claiming reduction in the number of BPL families but under the Ordinance food support is provided to about 2/3 of the population. This illogicality requires to be discussed with states, Modi's letter said.