Letter to PM on food bill

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  • Published 12.03.12

New Delhi, March 11: Around 30 economists, including former NAC member Jean Dreze, today urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to do away with categorisation of beneficiaries under the proposed national food security bill.

Dreze, who was part of the Sonia Gandhi-headed council, and the others have written to Singh saying the bill has “serious shortcomings” that needed to be removed.

The bill, pending in Parliament, provides for subsidised grain for up to 75 per cent of the rural population and up to 50 per cent of urban households.

The beneficiaries are to be divided into priority and general categories. But the economists believe it would be difficult to devise a method to categorise households. “It would be simpler, safer and more effective to abolish the distinction,” they said in the letter and demanded the same entitlement for all those eligible.