December 13th, 2011
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Cabinet to approve food security bill

kv-thomasNew Delhi: The Food Securities Bill that is to ensure food subsidies worth an extra 63,000 crore shall be tabled and probably passed by the cabinet today. The Food Security Bill is the second biggest social sector initiative after the rural employment guarantee scheme. It will be placed before the Parliament once cleared. The revised bill was prepared by the Mr KV Thomas.

When passed, the bill would guarantee food security to 63.5% Indians. It seeks to cover 75% of the total rural population, of which 46% would qualify as “priority” households. In urban areas, it will cover 50% of the total population, of which 28% will form the so-called “priority” category. All priority households would be given seven kg per person or 35 kg per family of government-held grains at a subsidized price of Re 1 per kg for millet, wheat for Rs2 a kg and rice for Rs3 per kg.

The revised bill has done away with the provision that insisted on states to modernize the Public Distribution System (PDS) to avail the benefits of the Bill. It has also included universal coverage of pregnant and lactating mothers and the provision of nutritious food to them instead of just food as per the recommendations of the NAC.

Rupees 1000 shall be provided to pregnant and lactating mothers for a period of 6 months. Lactating women, along with children up to 14 years will also get the same cash benefit. It also provides the legal right to take home ration/ meal to women, children, special groups, including destitute and homeless, emergency and disaster affected persons living in starvation.

 

 



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