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
"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.