Govt to introduce Food Bill on Wed in LS: Thomas
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Last Updated: Wednesday, December 21, 2011, 21:40
New Delhi: The government will introduce the Food Security Bill, which seeks to give legal right on cheaper foodgrains to 63.5 per cent of the country's population, in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

"The National Food Security Bill will be introduced in Lok Sabha tomorrow," Food Minister KV Thomas told reporters here on the sidelines of the 77th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA).

The speaker has given the permission to introduce the bill, he said, adding that the bill would be referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee.

Earlier this week, the Cabinet had approved the bill. Asked about the concerns raised by some opposition parties, including AIADMK, Thomas said: "The bill has been prepared after wide consultations in last two-and-a-half years among various stakeholders including state governments".

"Tamil Nadu was a little late in giving their comments. We will consider their views also," he added.

The proposed legislation is a major initiative by the UPA government and considered to be pet project of Sonia Gandhi, after Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA).

In rural India, up to 75 per cent of the people will be covered, with at least 46 per cent under priority households (which is same as below poverty line families in the existing public distribution system).

Up to 50 per cent of people will be covered in the urban centres, with at least 28 per cent under priority category.

The bill seeks to provide 7 kg of rice, wheat and coarse grains per person per month to priority households at Rs 3, Rs 2 and Rs 1 per kg, respectively.

General category would get at least 3 kg of grains at a rate not exceeding 50 per cent of the minimum support price.


First Published: Wednesday, December 21, 2011, 08:53

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