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Adopt Chhattisgarh model for food security: Raman Singh to PM

Author: Anuja Jaiswal, TNN
Publication: The Times of India
Date: July 30, 2013
URL: http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-07-30/india/40894413_1_food-security-ordinance-chhattisgarh-food-nfsa

Chhattisgarh chief minister, Dr Raman Singh, on Tuesday urged the Centre to rise above partisan politics and emulate the state's food security model for the betterment of poor in the country. He said he had written to the Prime Minister suggesting "valuable" changes in the present form of Food Security Act.

 Addressing the Symposium on National Food Security Act, 2013, in New Delhi, Dr Singh said the state had been successful to a great extent in mitigating the problems faced by poor families by providing them subsidised food grains under the Chhattisgarh Food and Nutrition Security Act.

"The implementation of the state's Food and Nutrition Act had been the most fulfilling achievement my entire political career," he said adding that this had ensured access to food to all poor families.

 Maintaining that no magical wand had drafted the Act in a single day, the chief minister said it was the result of eight years of hard work and meditation. He said no political figure who is at the helm of affairs should be at peace until availability of food is ensured to each individual of the country.

 "All talks of development are useless if citizens are not guaranteed a right to food," he said.

 He said the Chhattisgarh Food and Nutrition Security model had been appreciated across the world and his government had been working since 2004 for bringing in reforms in the Public Distribution System. "We have proved that even a corrupt system like the PDS could be turned into a well-functioning, robust system if there is political will," he said.

 Expressing displeasure at the centre's decision to ignore the suggestion given by the state for incorporation in the Food Security Ordinance, which is to be tabled in Parliament.

 Elaborating on the difference between Chhattisgarh Food and Nutrition Security Act (CFSA) 2012 and National Food Security Act (NFSA) , he said CFSA provides food entitlement to 90 per cent population of the state along with nutritional security to its beneficiaries where as NFSA provides food security to 67 per cent population. The CFSA also provides free of cost iodised salt and gram at Rs 5/kg to its beneficiaries.

 The Chhattisgarh government made the entire procurement process hassle-free and simple and has created a record this year by procuring 71 lakh metric tonnes of paddy at payment of over Rs 10,000 thousand crore to farmers. The entire payment process was made computerized and immediate payment through cheque was introduced.

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