Govt committed to enact Food Bill: President

Govt committed to enact Food Bill: President New Delhi: The Government on Thursday expressed its commitment to enact the Food Bill that seeks to provide subsidised foodgrains to poor as a matter of legal right.

"...Relentless efforts of farmers coupled with conducive policies of the government have resulted in record foodgrain production in last two consecutive years...Our foodgrains position is, therefore, comfortable...My Government is committed to enacting the National Food Security Bill," President Pranab Mukherjee said.

Addressing the joint sitting of Parliament, Mukherjee said India had produced a record 260 million tonnes foodgrains last year and is projected to produce more than 250 million tonnes in the current year.

Increased production has ensured foodgrains stock to reach 66.2 million tonnes with the government godowns, as on February 1 this year.

The proposed Food Bill, which was introduced in December 2011 in Lok Sabha, has been revised taking into consideration the Parliamentary Panel recommendation and is currently being vetted by the Law Ministry.

The revised Bill aims to cover around 70 per cent of the country's population with a uniform allocation of five kg foodgrains per person at a fixed rate of Rs 1-3 per kg every month through ration shops.

An estimated 62-64 million tonnes of Foodgrains is required for implementing the Bill due to which subsidy is expected to shoot up by Rs 20,000 crore from the current level of Rs one lakh crore.

PTI