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
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.