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Food Security Bill should not cap benefits of poor, says Patnaik

Expressing disappointment with certain aspects of the draft Food Security Bill, Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday said the Central Government should not cap the benefits of the poor people in the proposal.

Patnaik after a meeting of the state cabinet said that he had written a letter to the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, that they should not put any cap on poor people, who are entitled to the benefit.

"In the last three years, we are (have been) implementing the two rupees rice scheme in Orissa that is our state government (programme). I have written to the honourable Prime Minister earlier, some days ago that the Prime Minister and central government should not have a cap on the number of poor people entitled to these benefits," said Patnaik.

"I have also said that there should be a limit on the burden to the state government under the scheme," he added.

Patnaik also urged the Central Government to limit the burden of the scheme on the states.

The Union Cabinet presided by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on Sunday approved the draft National Food Security Bill.

The Cabinet decision on Food Security Bill was postponed earlier on as the allies of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government at the Centre wanted more discussions on it.

The draft of the National Food Security Bill seeks to expand the scope of subsidised food entitlements to the poor.

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