New Delhi: The Centre will soon initiate the
consultation process with the state governments on the draft
National Food Security Bill that aims to provide legal right
on subsidised foodgrains to 68 per cent of India`s population.
"We will at the earliest start the consultation process
with the states. The law ministry has already vetted the draft
bill and the same has been communicated to the Finance
Minister Pranab Mukherjee," Food Minister K V Thomas said.
The food ministry is awaiting orders from Mukherjee, who
is head of the empowered group of ministers (EGoM) on food, on
this issue, he said.
The consulation with the state governments is expected to
take atleast 15-20 days and later the draft bill will be moved
for the Cabinet`s approval before it is placed before
Thomas had recently said that his ministry will try and
speed up the draft Food Bill`s introduction in the ongoing
As per the draft bill, a legal entitlement will be given
to 75 per cent of rural people and 50 per cent of urban
people, taking the total legal coverage to 68 per cent of the
As much as 7 kg of foodgrain per month per person will be
given to the`priority sector` (Below Poverty Line). Rice will
be supplied via ration shops at Rs 3 per kg, wheat at Rs 2 per
kg and millets at Re 1 per kg.
For the general category (Above Poverty Line), 3 kg per
person will be supplied via ration shops at the rate half of
the minimum support price (MSP).
About 61 million tonnes of foodgrains will be required in
a year to cover the targeted beneficiary and will increase the
the current food subsidy bill by Rs 13,000 crore to Rs 95,000
crore in a year.