Government must not let anyone go to bed hungry, says Supreme Court | India News


NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday said the Centre and state governments must target elimination of hunger, even while praising their ‘excellent’ work during the pandemic period to feed the poor and migrant workers.
Taking stock of registration of workers, mostly migrants, in the unorganised sector on the eShram portal, a bench of Justices M R Shah and Hima Kohli asked additional solicitor general Aishwarya Bhati about the Union and state governments’ plans to ensure that the registered workers availed every benefits under various welfare measures, including subsidised foodgrains under the ‘one nation one ration card’ scheme.
Bhati informed the court that 28.3 crore workers were registered by the Centre and states as of September 19 on the e-portal, which was 73.7% of the target. Uttar Pradesh registered 8.3 crore against a target of 6.6 crore, Odisha 1.3 crore (102% of the target) and Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, and Himachal Pradesh registered more than 90% of targeted workers.
Delhi registered 62%, followed by Kerala (59%), Rajasthan (56%), Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh (both just over 50%). Low registration of unorganised workers in Maharashtra (38%), Karnataka and Tamil Nadu (both 37%), and Telangana (36%) irked the bench, which said, “Every time, Maharashtra is found wanting. It is not doing anything.”
The Justice Shah-led bench said though the government had disputed the Global Hunger Index statistics and questioned the mechanism adopted for classifying India at a lowly 107, it must “tell us how it is going to utilise the data collected on registration of unorganised workers through eShram portal”.
“Excellent work was done by the Centre during the Covid pandemic… But at the same time the good work must continue to honour our culture of not letting anyone go to sleep on an empty stomach,” it said.


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