Food security bill to come up in Lok Sabha on Monday

The ambitious Food Security Bill which proposes to give the country`s two-third population the right to highly-subsidised food will come up for consideration in the Lok Sabha on Monday.

Last Updated: Aug 09, 2013, 20:43 PM IST

New Delhi: The ambitious Food Security Bill which proposes to give the country`s two-third population the right to highly-subsidised food will come up for consideration in the Lok Sabha on Monday.

The bill, hailed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as the "most important" legislation during the current Monsoon session, will be taken up for debate along with a statutory resolution moved by opposition members disapproving promulgation of an ordinance in this regard.

Being seen as a `gamechanger` by Congress in Parliament elections scheduled next year, the bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday after government rejected apprehensions that it would impinge upon the rights of states.

Food Minister KV Thomas had introduced the fresh bill after withdrawing an earlier one along with the ordinance which was promulgated on July 5.

Moving the National Food Security Bill, 2013, which promises to give right to the country`s 80 crore people to get 5 kg of foodgrains every month at Rs 1-3 per kg, Thomas had said there is nothing in it against the states.

AIADMK had opposed introduction of the bill saying it is against the Constitution and federal system.

For implementing the bill, the subsidy burden would be Rs 1.30 lakh crore and foodgrains requirement would be 62 million tonnes annually.

As per the provisions of the bill, beneficiaries would get rice at Rs 3/kg, wheat at Rs 2/kg, and coarse grains at Re 1/kg. This rates would be valid for three years.

Every pregnant woman and lactating mother would get free meal during pregnancy and six months after child birth. They will also get a maternity benefit of Rs 6,000 in instalments. Children upto 14 years would get free meals.

In case of non-supply of foodgrains, states will have to pay food security allowance to beneficiaries.

PTI