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Indian government criticized for inattention to food security

The Right of Food Campaign issued new criticism of India's Central government after it changed the rice and wheat issue prices in the Public Distribution System's Above Poverty Line category, The Hindu reports.

The Campaign said that "this is the first step to finish off the subsidized food grains scheme" and that the decision "shows that elimination of hunger and malnutrition, which is a constitutional requirement and international commitment under the Millennium Development Goals, is a non-issue for the government," according to the news source.

The Campaign cited statistics that indicate that food inflation in India has climbed to 18.6 percent and pointed out that instead of working to temper the rising food prices, the government is raising them instead.

The Campaign ultimately called for the government to reverse the decision and instate a National Food Security Act in its place, eliminating the divide between the Above Poverty and Below Poverty categories, which the organization claims is under serving needy populations, the news source reports.

There are currently an estimated 300 million poor people in India, though poverty levels have declined since 1973 from 55 percent to 27 percent as of 2004, according to RuralPovertyPortal.org.
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