New Delhi: Terming the current version of the Food Security Bill as "a travesty of food security", the CPI (M) on Friday said the legislation was "unacceptable" and demanded that it must include as "universal right" the provision of at least 35 kg of food grains at Rs two a kilo.

"It appears that the Central Government wants to utilize the widespread demand for a strong Food Security Bill to push through narrow agendas of those agribusinesses and corporate who want dismantling of the Public Distribution System (PDS) and a truncated Food Security Bill," the party Politburo said in a statement.

Not only does the bill "Continue the flawed system of targeting into APL and BPL sections -- though under a new nomenclature of priority and general sections, the latest version links rights and entitlements of general sections to so-called reforms in the PDS," it said.

The party said "highly contested" policy measures like cash transfers instead of food grains, food coupons and even the use of 'Aadhar' identity cards were being linked to food entitlements and demanded their removal.

The CPI (M) also accused the government of "blatant violation" of federal norms saying the bill gave powers to the Centre alone to decide the percentage of people below the poverty line (BPL).

While state governments would have to pay a substantial share of the funds required for other schemes included in the Bill, there was no indication of what the Centre-State ratio of expenditure would be, the CPI (M) said.

(Agencies)