Patna: Bihar will launch the UPA government's flagship food guarantee scheme promising subsidised staple foodgrains to two-third of population from 1 February next year, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said today.
"The Food Security Act will be launched in Bihar from February 1, 2014," Kumar said while releasing report card 2013 of his government at a function in Patna.
The scheme is tipped to cover 75 percent of the rural population and 50 percent of urban dwellers in the state.
The Bihar chief minister, however, blamed the Centre for delay in launch of the scheme in the state.
The scheme has been rolled out in three Congress-ruled states of Delhi, Haryana and Uttarakhand so far.
Nitish demanded that due to non payment to officials engaged in counting beneficiaries on the basis of socio-economic and caste census survey, the process got delayed in Bihar.
When the survey work was threatened by non payment of these officials, the state government offered to make payment to them from its fund so that the work is expedited, he said expressing commitment to implement the legislation in the state.
Finally the survey work has been completed and it would be publicised for recording any objection, he said adding the efforts are aimed at "exclusion and inclusion of genuine beneficiaries for the scheme".
National Food Security Act, considered world's one experiment in food security of its kind, is a pet project of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.
It promises to provide subsidised rice, wheat and millet to 63 percent population of the country.
When the Food Security Bill faced threat of being scuttled in view of the opposition of many parties, the JD(U), which had parted ways from BJP by then had extended support to the legislation.
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Updated Date: Dec 21, 2014 01:14:34 IST