Non-Congress-ruled UP,Bihar and Gujarat will be the biggest beneficiaries of the new Food Security Act,as per the data made available to Congress party spokespersons for propagation.
The Act passed last month promises subsidised food grains and is touted as the big ticket reform measure by the Congress ahead of Assembly and Lok Sabha polls.
The data furnished by Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh for use of Congress spokespersons to promote the legislation says that Uttar Pradesh currently gets 66 lakh tonne food grains per year under the Public Distribution System on an average from the Centre which will increase to 96 lakh tonnes under the new Act. Bihar gets an average of 28 lakh tonnes and will now get 55 lakh tonnes,and Gujarats share will go up from 13.5 lakh tonnes to 24 lakh tonnes.
The Congress would hope to reap electoral dividends from this legislation. The three states are politically crucial. UP sends the largest number of legislators 80 to the LS. In Bihar,this could help Congress strengthen ties with Nitish Kumars JD(U),and in Gujarat,it would want to be seen as doing something in the face of BJPs prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modis rise.
According to the data,rural coverage will be 80 percent and urban coverage 64.4 percent in Uttar Pradesh. For Bihar it will be 85 per cent and 75 per cent and for Gujarat,75 per cent and 48 per cent respectively.
UPs food subsidy will go up from Rs 12,000 crore per annum to Rs 19,000 crore,Bihars from Rs 5,500 crore a year to Rs 11,500 crore,and Gujarats from Rs 2,300 crore to Rs 4,500 crore. The data reveals a mismatch in BPL families and ration cards in these states. In UP,there are 66 lakh BPL ration cards for a 107 lakh BPL families. A report by Raghuram Rajan panel categorised Bihar,UP among 10 least developed states and Gujarat as a less developed state.