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NC vows to protect JK's special status by opposing NFSA!
12/4/2015 11:55:51 PM
ET Report
JAMMU, Dec 4: Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed's announcement that National Food Security Act (NFSA) would be implemented in J&K from February 1, 2016 onwards has left the opposition National Conference red faced which refused to implement the people-friendly Act in the State when it was in power.
The National Food Security Act, 2013 (also Right to Food Act) is an Act of the Parliament of India which aims to provide subsidized food grains to approximately two thirds of India's 1.2 billion people. It was signed into law on September 12, 2013, retroactive to July 5, 2013. It includes the Midday Meal Scheme, Integrated Child Development Services scheme and the Public Distribution System.
Under the provisions of the Act, beneficiaries of the Public Distribution System (PDS) are entitled to 5 kilograms (11 lb) per person per month of cereals Rice at @ Rs3 per kg. Wheat @ Rs 2 per kg and Coarse grains @ Re 1 per kg. Pregnant women, lactating mothers, and certain categories of children are eligible for daily free meals.
The NFSA was one of flagship programmes of the UPA-II. However, the then Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah refused to implement it on the ground claiming that it was not beneficial to the people of the State where more than 22 percent population is living under the Below Poverty Line (BPL)..
During the election campaign of 2014 Assembly polls the Congress President and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, who handed over the Chief Minister's chair to Omar in 2009, had castigated the NC working President Omar Abdullah for not implementing people friendly schemes of the Congress led Government in Jammu and Kashmir.
On Thursday NC leaders vowed to protect the special status of Jammu and Kashmir by opposing the decision of the Mufti led Government to implement NFSA in the State directly. "Someone needs to ask the NC leaders what's wrong in implementing the Act in JK which is people friendly and would prove beneficial for the people living under BPL in the State. How would implementing NFSA erode the special status of the State, which has proved to be a big obstacle in the progress and development of Jammu and Kashmir," asked an analyst.
He said the Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed has taken a "historic decision" as it guarantees right to food to the people who are unable to manage two square meals in a day. "Those who are questioning the Chief Minister's move are trying to create unnecessary confusion. The legislation had the stamp and approval of the State Cabinet and any effort to undermine the same amounts to utter disregard to the democratic set-up as the Cabinet has every right and authority to do so," the analyst added.
He alleged that NC leaders have been taking people for a ride on the pretext of safeguarding the Article 370 while the fact is that they pushed the people of Jammu and Kashmir into oblivion by not allowing Central schemes and acts to be implemented in JK directly. "NFSA was the initiative of Congress led Government at the Centre and as an ally it was duty of the National Conference to ensure that benefits of the Act reach the people of Jammu and Kashmir but when it was in power party didn't pay any heed towards what people require. Its leaders resorted to mere rhetoric and lip service and party faced the wrath of the masses in 2014 Parliamentary and Assembly elections," the analyst said.
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