M A I N   N E W S

Indian weddings may have fewer guests
To save food, Union Govt mulls trimming guest lists at weddings, other functions
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 22
Food Minister KV Thomas has come up with a unique idea to reduce the wastage of foodgrains. His plan is to limit the food served at various functions, especially weddings, by trimming the fat guest list. What’s more, the idea is finding favour with the Congress.

The newly appointed minister is understood to be working on a legislation, a throwback to sixties when such an order was in place to check over consumption of essential commodities. The logic is simple: The huge amount of food and vegetables wasted at extravagant parties can be used to feed the underprivileged. There are around 10 lakh parties in the country everyday. The food saved could feed thousands of poor families for months, says Thomas.

The law, when it’ll see the light of the day, will serve another more important function: It will help the UPA government to implement its ambitious Food Security Bill at the earliest.

The Opposition, however, has slammed the proposal by branding it ‘absurd’ and ‘obnoxious’. The Congress says as a party it is committed to its political agenda of food security. “Policy matters are the prerogative of the government. However, party president Sonia Gandhi has repeatedly stressed on austerity. We would like members of the Congress and the public to practice austerity,” party spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan said.

Interestingly, some Congress leaders had also demanded a guest control law to prevent wastage of food at parties after Sonia asked members to embrace simplicity at the AICC plenary in December. Some party leaders, however, find the idea of guest control “laughable”. “Austerity should be voluntary. We are no longer living in 1960s when there was shortage of foodgrain. On one hand, we are saying the economy is growing and the purchasing power of people is increasing, but on the other, we are trying to impose restrictions on spending,” they say. “There are better ways to save foodgrains. Storage capacity can be increased and the entire process can be modernised and made more scientific.

The Food Corporation of India, in a response to an RTI query, admitted to wastage of over 1.3 million tonne of foodgrains in various warehouses in the past decade.





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