press trust of india
Chennai, 25 August
Charging the Congress-led UPA government with not incorporating the amendments suggested by her in the Food Security Bill, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa today said her party, the AIADMK, will vote against it in the Lok Sabha tomorrow.
“Under these circumstances, the Food Security Bill with its present amendments, which is due to come up for discussion in Lok Sabha on 28 August 2013 is not acceptable.
The chief minister said most of the amendments brought in now would not benefit Tamil Nadu and most of her demands had not been accepted by the Central government.
In response to her concerns that the state’s monthly quota of rice would come down in the event of the implementation of the initiative, the Centre had only brought in an amendment that would ensure allocation of rice to states would not be cut down under the proposed act.
At the same time, the Centre had made a provision to allot 21.88 lakh tonnes of rice annually at Rs 3 per kg to Tamil Nadu but mentioned that the rest 14.90 lakh tonnes will be given at a rate fixed by it.
“This is not acceptable. It will be fair if the entire 36.78 lakh tonnes of (the state’s annual quota of rice) was allotted at Rs 3 per kg,” she said.
“If the Centre provided those 14.90 lakh tonnes of rice at its procurement price of Rs 19.11, it will cast a burden on the state to an additional Rs 1,000 crore expenditure,” she said.
Further, the state was spending around Rs 5,000 crore per year on providing foodgrains for free or at subsidised rates, allocating Rs 2,525 crore alone for supplying rice free of cost.
Ms Jayalalithaa asked party rival DMK to spell out its stand on the Bill. “If they support the Bill, it will be a betrayal of the people,” she added.