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Food Security Bill 'a troublesome act': Ficci

Ficci President Naina Lal Kidwai said the right to food is an "absolute need" but questioned the method planned to implement the bill.

twitter-logoPTI | July 22, 2013 | Updated 23:50 IST

Making clear its opposition to the Food Security Bill, industry body Ficci on Monday called it a "troublesome act", saying that cash transfer will be the best way forward.

"Ficci does not support Food Security Bill... In addition to the cost put forward by the government, the cost of administering it and the whole gamut of things that comes along will put burden on the exchequer. It is a very troublesome act in terms of number," Ficci President Naina Lal Kidwai said.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the chamber's national executive committee meeting here, she said the right to food is an "absolute need" but questioned the method planned to implement the bill.

Kidwai said: "Do we need to do in the current way, and do it through public distribution system that hasn't worked in the past?"

Questioning the effectiveness of the bill in providing adequate nutrition to the beneficiary, she also suggested that the cash transfer would be the best way forward.

"Cereals are the main food that is identified there, is that what people need and want in terms of nutrition? .....We support cash disbursal. Reports indicate that Aadhar scheme is working, it aims to give people the money in their hands and then to use it the way they want. It makes more sense," she added.

On the status of rupee and its affect on the industry, she said weak rupee raises pressure on RBI to hike interest rates and any increase would be a blow to the industry and growth.

"I hope that it stays stable because interest rate going up will be a body blow to industry and industrial growth, which is at a very fragile position right now," she added.

She also suggested that banks should transmit series of interest rate cut under taken by the RBI.

Commenting on the steps taken by RBI to stem the fall of rupee, Kidwai expressed fear that "these measures could push interest rates up.

"I would like to believe that inflation stays by and large in check. The fact that we have rupee now in check would at least ensure that rates don't go up and I also hope that the interest rates come down," she added.

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