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India’s lower house passes National Food Security Bill

Aug 27, 2013

Just before voting on the bill, the Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj said, the BJP is supporting the legislation despite it being half-baked.

India’s lower house, the Lok Sabha, has passed the Food Security Bill which seeks to provide cheap foodgrains to 82 crore people in the country. The ambitious bill was adopted by the House through a voice vote after a day-long debate last night. The passage of the bill in Parliament will guarantee 5 kilograms of rice, wheat and coarse cereals per month per person at the highly subsidised rates of 1-3 rupees a Kg.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh described the Food Security Bill as one more example of the UPA government's people-oriented inclusive development.

During the debate on the bill, Congress President Sonia Gandhi said, our goal for the foreseeable future must be to wipe out hunger and malnutrition from the country.

Replying to the debate, Food Minister KV Thomas said, all constructive suggestions given by Members of Parliament will be positively considered while implementing the bill. He also assured the States that the foodgrain off-take during the last three years under the present PDS system will be protected.

Just before voting on the bill, the Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj said, the BJP is supporting the legislation despite it being half-baked and weak.Participating in the debate, Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav demanded that the bill be kept in abeyance till Chief Ministers are consulted as it will put additional burden on states.

Our correspondent reports that after the bill gets the Rajya Sabha's nod, India will join the select league of countries that guarantee food grants to a majority of its population.

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