Patna : Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is in favour of the Food Security Bill proposed by the UPA II government ‘in principle’ but has said the Centre should bear the additional financial burden on account of it when it is implemented.
Kumar, who was speaking to reporters after emerging from his weekly ‘Janata Ke Darbar mein Mukhya Mantri’ programme, said he favoured the bill as it would provide legal food security for the poor but should have the provision that the additional cost for its implementation would be borne by the Centre instead of being transferred to resource-hit states like Bihar.
He dismissed speculations that the Food Security Bill would earn votes for Congress in the 2014 general elections as MNREGA did for the party in the 2009 polls.
“The legislation is being brought by the Congress in the last year of UPA II … It will not pay any political dividend to them (UPA) in the 2014 elections,” he said.
Kumar said Bihar had suggested to the Centre that the proposed Food Security Commission should have seven members out of which five should be from rural background instead of urban elites, besides from minorities and OBC sections too.
Besides, there should be two women members in the proposed commission. The draft of the bill sent to the state for its opinion had suggested inclusion of a member from woman, SC and ST sections each in the proposed 5-member Commission.
Kumar also favoured setting up of a BPL Commission along the lines of the Election Commission for listing of beneficiaries.
The BPL Commission could effectively take up headcount of beneficiaries for susbidised foodgrains scheme instead of relying on old datas, he added.
Kumar said Bihar had suggested that the proposed bill should have provision of 7 kg of rice, wheat and millet to the beneficiaries, instead of 5 kg of foodgrain.