Govt may give both BPL & APL families legal right to food

While the NAC had suggested giving a legal cover to both the priority and general categories, the Rangarajan Committee was not in favour of giving such a right to the ‘general’ population due to supply constraints

New Delhi: The government is likely to give a legal right to food to both priority and general categories of the population under the proposed National Food Security Act, as suggested by the Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory Council (NAC).

There were differences between the NAC and the Rangarajan Committee on giving a legal right to food to general category, or above poverty line (APL) families, reports PTI.

While the NAC had suggested giving a legal cover to both the priority (below poverty line, or BPL) and general categories, the Rangarajan Committee was not in favour of giving such a right to the ‘general’ population due to supply constraints.

“There is no difference of opinion for priority category.

The differences are on general category. NAC is saying give legal entitlement, while the Rangarajan committee is saying no legal entitlement for the general category.

“Now the view of the UPA government is that everybody should be entitled,” food and consumer affairs minister KV Thomas told PTI in an interview.

Mr Thomas noted that the draft bill of the proposed Food Security Act is ready and is likely to be placed this week before the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) for approval.

“The draft Bill is ready now. I don't say it is in line with NAC or not. But it is in line with what is in the mind of Madam Sonia Gandhi,” he said.

“The principle of Sonia Gandhi is that every citizen of the country should get legal cover toward a certain quantity of nutritious food, not simply foodgrains,” he shared.

Mr Thomas said the additional foodgrains requirement for broad coverage of the priority and general category could be met by enhancing procurement from the current level.

“The government is currently procuring about 30% of the total wheat and rice production. We can increase it to 35% to meet the demand under the proposed law,” he said.

The country is estimated to have harvested nearly 180 million tonnes of wheat and rice in 2010-11.

Asked if the ministry has decided on the quantity and price of foodgrains under the proposed law, Mr Thomas said: “The draft bill has a general framework. The nitty gritty would come under rules.”

In 2009, the government had announced that it will come up with a food security legislation. Recently, prime minister Manmohan Singh had stated that the government intends to bring the proposed Bill in the coming session of Parliament.

Presently, the government provides 35 kg of foodgrains per month to 6.52 crore BPL families and at least 15 kg of foodgrains to 11.5 crore APL families.

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Inter National Institute of Fashion Design introduces IDesign pad

iDesign pad will be available to its  students starting this academic year (July) and will be subsidised at Rs12,500

INIFD (Inter National Institute of Fashion Design) has launched iDesign Pad. With iDesign Pad, students, teachers and the administration can be constantly in touch. Tracking assignments, taking notes and studying for finals is a click away.

Teachers can give lessons, monitor progress, and stay organised. This unique customized device will remove the abominable clutter of books and bags by putting online the entire curriculum, fashion news, teacher presentations, etc. INIFD is also incorporating social networking applications that will help students across the country to sync ideas and designs simultaneously. This eco-friendly initiative which is probably the first in the world of fashion, is suitable for today's rapidly changing dynamics as it will help students send their designs directly to buyers as well, facilitating business by this remarkable innovation. The iDesign pad will be available to its  students starting this academic year (July) and will be subsidised at Rs12,500.

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DWS Investments launches DWS Fixed Term Fund Series 83

DWS Investments new issue opens for subscription on 26 May 2011 and closes on 06 June 2011

DWS Investments, the retail mutual fund arm of the Deutsche Bank Group, announced the launch of the DWS Fixed Term Fund Series 83-A, a 371 days close-ended debt fund.  

The DWS Fixed Term Fund Series 83 comes with a unique dividend sweep option. Investors opting for the dividend sweep option can sweep the dividend from DWS FTF Series 83 to any of DWS Equity Funds (DWS Alpha Equity Fund, DWS Investment Opportunity Fund or DWS Tax Saving Fund) or DWS Fund of Funds (DWS Global Thematic Offshore Fund or DWS Global Agribusiness Offshore Fund).

The new issue opens for subscription on 26 May 2011 and closes on 06June 2011. The objective of this fund is to generate income by investing in debt securities and money market instruments, usually maturing on or before the date of maturity of the scheme.

The fund has CRISIL Short Term Bond Index as the benchmark index for performance. DWS Fixed Term Fund Series 83 would be listed on the National Stock Exchange (NSE). An investor can start investing with a minimum of Rs5,000.

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