The revised food security bill, to be tabled in Parliament during budget session, will mainly address issues relating to coverage under Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS), identification of beneficiaries, entitlement to foodgrains and their prices.
While there are divergent views on each of these issues, minister for consumer affairs, food and public distribution K V Thomas said, the government is looking for a workable, practical and equitable approach, keeping the larger objective of the bill in mind.
The National Food Security Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha in December 2011 and thereafter was examined in detail by a parliamentary standing committee. The centre also called a meeting of state food ministers for final consultations on the bill in the light of recommendations of the standing committee.
The committee has made certain recommendations on sharing of the additional expenditure arising out of implementation of the Bill after several state governments expressed their inability to bear the additional burden, especially on items such as transportation, handling and FPS dealers' margin and the grievance redressal mechanism at the district and state levels.
The committee has taken into consideration the concerns of state governments and made recommendations accordingly.
The revised bill provides for a three-tire independent grievance redressal mechanism. The committee has recommended that states/UTs be allowed to use existing machinery for grievance redressal. The bill also seeks to ensure that the entitlements reach the intended beneficiaries and those responsible for delivery of benefits are held accountable in case they fail to do so.