Union Cabinet cleared National Food Security Bill

Mar 21, 2013 15:27 IST

The Union Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, on 19 March 2013 approved the National Food Security Bill.

The food security bill approved is directed towards giving the right to food to around 67 per cent of India's 120-crore population. The amendments to the Bill will guarantee 5 kg of foodgrains per person per month, while families in the poorest of the poor will continue to get 35 kg of grains per month.

As per the bill around 800 crore people will be entitled to get five kilos of subsidised grain per month. Rice will be made available at 3 Rupees per kilo; wheat will cost 2 rupees a kilo and cereal will be sold for 1 Rupees per kilo.

The beneficiaries are supposed to be decided by state governments, while the criteria to exclude 33 per cent of population would be provided by the Planning Commission, Thomas said.

The scheme will be linked to the Aadhar scheme which provides every citizen with a unique identification number that's linked to a database that includes the biometrics of all card-holders.

It is also evident from the present year budget, that 90000 crore Rupees is allocated for spending on food subsidies with the government setting aside an extra 10 000 crore Rupees for the bill.

In earlier versions, the Food Security Bill assigned subsidised grains on the basis of priority and general groups, which were demarcated on the basis of poverty levels. The Cabinet gave its nod to the 71 amendments proposed by the Food Ministry, including the one that said the 2.43 crore Antyodaya Anna Yojna beneficiary households will continue to get their quota of 35 kg grains a month under the public distribution system.

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