New Delhi: The Congress-led UPA government hopes to introduce and pass the National Food Security Bill in parliament's Budget Session starting Feb 21, a minister said Wednesday.
The food bill is expected to give right to food to around 67 percent of India's 1.2 billion population.
Food Minister K.V. Thomas said: "We hope to present and pass the bill in the budget session...so people are ensured of its benefits at the earliest." Thomas was addressing state food ministers here.
The proposed bill, part of the Congress manifesto in the 2009 general elections, is expected to be the flagship legislation of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA-II) in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
The bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha in December 2011 and sent to a parliamentary standing committee. The revised bill is being worked out based on these recommendations, Thomas said.
While the initial bill had suggested seven kg of food grain per poor person a month with rice, wheat and coarse grains at Rs.3, Rs.2 and Re.1 per kg, the panel had suggested five kg grain at the same rate.
The state food ministers have been called to hold final consultations on the proposed bill.