Government yesterday passed the “Solidarity Basket” programme seeking the selling of low-priced foodstuff for pensioners, Mediafax reported official sources as saying. The draft bill stipulates that the low-priced foodstuffs aimed at pensioners will be delivered on a weekly basis by companies purposely set up by local authorities, which will buy it by tender and charge an additional amount allowing sellers to cover corresponding expenses. The “solidarity basket” will include flour, sugar, cooking oil, corn and rice, along with foodstuffs with longer expiration dates, as established by county councils, or, depending on the case, the General Council of the Bucharest Municipality. The programme is aimed at restricting the effects generated by the economic crisis, lower poverty rates among pensioners, “substitutes for other forms of support which are not possible in the current context”. Government passed the draft bill by memorandum late June. President Traian Basescu said at the time he did not encourage the solidarity basket initiative for pensioners, which he described as “populist”, since, in his view, the “time has come for politicians to no longer fool people”. The Social Democratic Party (PSD) Government of 2000-2004 ran a foodstuff distribution programme to pensioners via “Economat” stores, which was criticized at the time by Bucharest then-mayor and Democratic Party (PD) leader Traian Basescu.