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C. Rangarajan Committee Suggestions on Food Security Bill

Jan 22, 2011 13:36 IST

The C. Rangarajan Committee on the proposed food security bill in January 2011 favoured legal entitlement of subsidised foodgrains to the poor (below the poverty line). Rangarajan however rejected the National Advisory Council's recommendation that above the poverty line (APL) households be partially covered mentioning that it is not feasible at the current levels of grain production and procurement. The NAC, headed by Congress president Sonia Gandhi had recommended 75 per cent coverage of the population in two phases, with 90 per cent rural and 50 per cent urban population included. The Committee suggested 46 per cent of the rural population and 28 per cent of the urban population be entitled to 35 kg of rice at Rs. 3 a kg or wheat at Rs. 2 a kg per household a month. The figures were arrived at by adding 10 per cent beneficiaries (to cover those on the margins) to the Tendulkar Committee's poverty estimates of 41.8 per cent of the rural poor and 25.7 per cent of the urban poor.

The committee proposed the price of subsidised foodgrains for the poor (BPL) be linked to inflation and indexed to the Consumer Price Index in the coming years, and the price at which wheat and rice was to be made available to the non-poor (APL) might be linked to the minimum support price (MSP). The Committee estimated the subsidy bill at Rs. 83,000 crore for the entitled groups at 100 per cent lifting.

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