Raipur: Chhattisgarh Legislative Assembly on Friday passed the Food Security Bill aimed at providing food and nutritional security to around 50 lakh families in the state.
Chief Minister Raman Singh told the House that the provisions of the bill ensured that adequate quantity of quality food will be available at affordable prices to nearly 50 lakh families.
The new provisions will add a burden of Rs 2,311 crore on the state exchequer.
Hailing Chhattisgarh for being only state in the country to bring such legislation, Singh said, "Everybody has the right to food and with this bill the government has ensured this right to the people. Now nobody will strive for meal here."
Reacting to the Opposition`s charge that the bill was introduced with an eye on Assembly elections next year, Singh said, "It has not been done with an intention to win the election. The government has fulfilled its promises that it had made to the people."
Earlier, Leader of Opposition Ravindra Choubey alleged that the bill looks like a "copy" of the Centre`s proposed Food Security Bill.
Food and Civil Supply Minister Punnulal Mohile had introduced the bill in the Assembly yesterday.
The legislation envisages strengthening the public distribution system, besides providing food grains to the beneficiaries at subsidised rates.
The bill seeks to provide nutritious food to the pregnant and nursing women and even the children up to the age of 14 years. It has a provision under which nutritional food will be provided to students staying in hostels and ashrams.
Reading out salient features of the bill, Singh said in case of any eventuality or climatic disaster, the affected will be provided two-time meal free of cost regularly up to three months.
"Women empowerment is the focus of this bill. The senior woman member (who has attained 18 years of age or above) of a family will be considered the head of that family for issuing ration cards," he said.