Govt introduces Food Security bill in Lok Sabha
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Last Updated: Thursday, December 22, 2011, 19:28
New Delhi: The government today introduced the landmark National Food Security Bill, 2011, in Lok Sabha that seeks to give legal right on cheaper foodgrains to over 63 per cent of the population and is estimated to put an extra subsidy burden of about Rs 24,000 crore.

Considered to be the world's largest experiment in providing food security to the poor, the Bill was introduced by Food Minister K V Thomas amid thumping of desks by Congress members led by party chief Sonia Gandhi, who has been strongly pushing the ambitious social legislation.

Under the proposed law, which was promised by the Congress Party in 2009 general election, up to 75 per cent of the rural population and up to 50 per cent of the urban population would be covered.

The Bill has provided that not less than 46 per cent of the rural and 28 per cent of the urban population shall be designated as priority households, which are same as families below poverty line in existing public distribution system. People eligible under priority category would be entitled to 7 kg of foodgrains comprising rice, wheat and coarse grains per person per month. Rice will be provided at Rs 3, wheat at Rs 2 and coarse grains at Re 1 per kg.

Person under general category will get at least 3kg of grain at a rate not exceeding 50 per cent of the minimum support price. "The additional burden to implement the proposed law would be about Rs 24,000 crore. There are many existing schemes, related to children and women, which are now part of food bill," Thomas told reporters here.


First Published: Thursday, December 22, 2011, 19:28

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