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    Raipur, February 13, 2013: Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Dr Raman Singh today wrote a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh urging him to consider suggestions given by Chhattisgarh before finalizing the provisions of the proposed National Food Security Bill.

     In his letter to Dr Manmohan Singh, Raman said uniform exclusion limits should not be prescribed in the proposed Bill and suggested instead, the exclusion limit for a state, if at all, should be fixed keeping in view the socio-economic conditions of that state.

     Noting that the Chhattisgarh Food Security Act has no prescribed inclusion or exclusion limits, the Chief Minister said any exclusion criteria and exclusion limits (in terms of percentage of population) in the National Food Security Bill are ‘counteractive’ to each other and suggested that would be more appropriate to only specify clear and verifiable exclusion criteria and to not specify an exclusion limit.

    The Chief Minister supported the recommendations made by the Standing Committee that the state specific exclusion criteria should be decided in consultation with the state government.

     The Standing Committee on Food, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution in their 27th report on the National Food Security Bill, 2011 has recommended that the Centre should work out state specific exclusion criteria in consultation with states in a transparent manner, while ensuring that the overall exclusion at the national level should not exceed 25 per cent in case of rural areas and 50 per cent in case of urban areas.

     He urged the Prime Minister to provide entitlements on a per house hold basis and not on a per capita basis as provision of entitlements on a per capita basis would result in “reduction of the entitlements of large number of poor families whose family size is less than five and would be detrimental in ensuring food security of such poor families.”

     The Chief Minister pointed out that the proposed entitlement of five kg per person per month would not be sufficient to ensure food security for all and suggested that the entitlement be fixed at 35 kg per household per month.

     “Such a small quantity of food grains would not be sufficient to ensure food security of poor families in a meaningful way…the entitlement for poor families should at least be fixed at 35 kg per household per month,” he said.

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