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Cabinet clears Food Security Bill without any changes

Mar 19, 2013 05:30 PM IST Politics Politics

New Delhi: The Cabinet has cleared the UPA's gamechanger Food Security Bill. The revised Bill was cleared by the Cabinet without any further changes. The Food Security Bill seeks to provide for uniform 5 kg of foodgrains per month per person at a highly subsidised price of Rs 1-3 per kg to two-thirds of the country's population.

However, about 2.43 crore poorest of the poor families covered under the Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) scheme under PDS would get legal entitlement to 35 kg of foodgrain per family per month.

"Revised Food Bill has been cleared. We will try to bring the amendments to the Food Bill in Parliament before Friday," Food Minister KV Thomas told reporters here after the Cabinet meeting.

The extra burden on the food subsidy would be about Rs 20,000 crore from the current level, while foodgrains requirement is expected to be 61.23 million tonnes, he added. "Uniform prices of Rs 3, 2 and 1 per kg for rice, wheat and coarse grains, respectively, will be applicable to all eligible beneficiaries. The prices would be revised after three years from the implementation of the Act," he said.

In the original bill, introduced in the Lok Sabha in December 2011, beneficiaries were divided into priority and general households. Priority households were entitled to 7 kg of rice, wheat and coarse grains per person per month at Rs 3, Rs 2 and Re 1 per kg respectively. At least 3 kg for 'general' households at 50 per cent of support price.

With additional information from PTI