Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today voiced his support for the Congress-led UPA government's flagship programme, the Food Security scheme. Interestingly, the support came after the recent breaking of ties between Mr Kumar's Janata Dal (United) and the BJP.
"The scheme takes into consideration our concern about those people who are actually below the poverty line in the state. We are satisfied with the ordinance," Mr Kumar said in Patna today.
The Bihar Chief Minister also said that his government is taking steps for its implementation, adding that civil supplies, urban and rural development departments have been told to prepare the ground for implementation of food ordinance in the state.
Mr Kumar, however, added that implementing the scheme after a discussion in Parliament would have been a better option.
"It would have been better if the ordinance had come after proper discussion in Parliament. But, now there is no such option and an ordinance has come and the state government will take steps for implementation of food laws," Mr Kumar said.
The JD(U), he said, has been for the food security legislation in 'principle' and had given some suggestions in the draft legislation.
"Had the bill come up for discussion in Parliament, the JD(U) could have raised these issues," he said.
The Bihar government wanted the cost of implementation of the Food Security Bill to be entirely borne by the Centre, setting up of a BPL Commission for identification of beneficiaries and a seven-member monitoring committee apart from other suggestions.
The Centre is allocating foodgrain for 65 lakh beneficiaries under the PDS scheme to Bihar but the state government survey put the number of beneficiaries to 1.45 crore.