Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: The National Food Security Bill, which seeks to provide heavily-subsidised food grains to two-thirds of India`s 1.23 billion people, has now become an Act after President Pranab Mukherjee’s assent on Thursday.
Earlier, the landmark legislation was passed by the Rajya Sabha by a voice vote after an almost 10-hour-long debate. The legislation was passed by the Lok Sabha on August 26.
The ambitious bill, seen as a game-changer by the government and expected to benefit 82 crore people in the country, cleared Parliamentary process after much delay and uncertainty.
The proposed legislation was approved after a combined discussion on the measure and a statutory resolution seeking to disapprove the ordinance promulgated on July 5.
All the amendments moved by the opposition to the bill, passed by Lok Sabha, were rejected. Some amendments, like the one moved by Samajwadi Party member Naresh Agrawal, were withdrawn while some members including BJP`s Venkaiah Naidu and Prakash Javadekar did not press some of their amendments.
The bill will guarantee 5 kg of rice, wheat and coarse cereals per month per person at Rs 3, 2, 1, respectively.
India will now join a select league of nations that guarantee majority of its population cheap foodgrains. At Rs 1,30,000 crore government support, the food security programme will be the largest in the world. It would require 62 million tonnes of foodgrains.
(With agency inputs)