Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday launched the UPA government`s flagship food security programme in the national capital on the occasion of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi`s 69th birth anniversary.
Sonia Gandhi, while flagging-off the scheme at a function in Talkatora Stadium, said that nearly 80 crore people in Delhi will benefit from Food Security scheme.
The Congress chief further said that after the launch of the scheme "no poor person will go hungry," adding that "We have to be responsible for the poor now while."
The scheme will be beneficial to 6.27 lakh living Below Poverty Line (BPL), Above Poverty Line (APL) card holders and Jhughi Ration Card (JRC) holders and beneficiaries under Antodaya Anna Yojna (AAY).
Calling the scheme as Rajiv Gandhi`s dream, she said, "It was his dream that is taking shape today."
The Food Security Bill, expected to be a game-changer for the ruling Congress, aims to provide subsidised foodgrain at prices much below the market rate to around 67 percent of India`s 1.2 billion people; the bill would thus benefit about 800 million people.
The bill, part of the Congress manifesto for the 2009 polls, is expected to bring electoral benefits, just as the rural job plan, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, is credited with the second term that the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) won in the 2009 polls.
The bill will cost the government around Rs.1,24,723 crore and will entail an additional burden of only Rs.23,800 crore, the Congress has said.
The Food Security Bill was first introduced in Parliament in Dec 2011. It remained with a standing committee for a year, before it was taken to the Lok Sabha for consideration and passing in the budget session that ended May 8.
(With PTI Inputs)