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Cabinet clears revised Food Security Bill

NEW DELHI, Mar 19, 2013, DHNS: 1:16 IST
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The Cabinet on Tuesday cleared revised Food Security Bill which aims at providing more than two-thirds of India’s 1.2 billion population 5 kg food grains per month at subsidised rate.

According to the bill, 67 per cent of India’s population will be entitled to 5 kg rations per person per month at Rs 3 per kg for rice, Rs 2 per kg for wheat and Re 1 per kg for coarse grains.

But, the poorest of poor families under the Antyodaya Anna Yojana will continue to get 35 kg grains per month.

“The revised Food Bill has been cleared by Cabinet. We will try to bring amendments to the Food Bill in Parliament before Friday,” Food Minister K V Thomas told reporters here.The government intends to get the revised bill passed in the Budget session of Parliament that ends on May 10.

The bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha in December 2011. At that time, the government had proposed giving 7 kg of wheat at Rs 2 per kg and rice at Rs 3 per kg per person, per month to priority households. At least 3 kg of food grains at half of the government fixed support price was proposed for the general households.

In the revised bill, the classification based on priority and general has been done away with and the allocation is uniform at 5 kg per person in a month. The beneficiaries will be decided by the state governments, while the criteria to exclude 33 per cent of population will be provided by the Planning Commission, Thomas said. About 62 million tonne of food grains will be required to implement the bill, while the food subsidy is estimated at Rs 1,24,747 crore at 2013-14 prices.

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