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Last updated: 27 Sep, 2014  

parliament.THMB.jpg Food bill passed; will cost Rs 1.25 lakh cr per year

food-security-bill.jpg
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SME Times News Bureau | 27 Aug, 2013
The Lok Sabha Monday night passed an ambitious National Food Security Bill which aims to provide heavily subsidized food to two-thirds of India's 1.2 billion people. The government estimates suggest that food security will cost Rs. 1.25 lakh crores or USD 22 billion per year.

The legislation, which virtually makes food a fundamental right in a country teeming with millions of poor, would involve an intake of 612 lakh tonnes of food annually and is expected to combat widespread hunger.

The bill is expected to be taken up in the Rajya Sabha Tuesday.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said after the passage of the bill: "It is yet another step of the UPA government's pro-poor policies."

In an earlier speech heard in silence in the Lok Sabha, Gandhi, 66, declared: "The food bill is meant for the less fortunate sections of our society. It is a historic step to eradicate hunger.

"It is time to send out a big message that India can take the responsibility of ensuring food security for all its citizens," she added, to loud thumping of desks by ruling coalition members.

The bill is her pet welfare legislation, which many feel may prove to be a game-changer in the next Lok Sabha election.

In part in Hindi, Gandhi explained the significance of the legislation.

"Our foreseeable future must be to wipe out hunger and malnutrition from our country.

"This legislation is only a beginning. As we move forward, we will ... have an opportunity to transform the lives of tens of millions of people."

But even as the opposition parties gave their legislative backing to the bill, there was criticism.

Both Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and Murli Manohar Joshi of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said the legislation was aimed at winning votes for the Congress.

"Who will foot the financial burden of the states? The centre should have convened a meeting of chief ministers on the bill before bringing it in parliament," Yadav said.

Joshi remarked: "This is not a food security but a vote security bill."

"Why did you not bring it before?" he asked. He accused the government of manipulating poverty estimates. "You want to show only you care for the poor and no one else."

His colleague Sushma Swaraj later said: "It is half baked and (a) weak bill."

The UPA's another ally, the Bahujan Samaj Party, extended its support to the bill, saying it will help governments address the problem of hunger in the country.

The bill proposes subsidized foodgrain for up to 75 percent of the rural and up to 50 percent of the urban population. It proposes meal entitlement to specific groups.

Eligible households would get five kg of foodgrain per person every month -- Rs.3 a kilo for rice, Rs.2 a kilo for wheat and Rs.1 a kilo for coarse grains.

In her speech, Gandhi brushed aside criticism about the legislation, saying the question was not of whether "we have the means" to enforce it but that "we will have to find the means" to implement it.

"We have to do it," she said emphatically, triggering another round of applause.
 
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HEADING TOWARDS DISASTER
DESH BHAKT | Wed Sep 4 04:11:15 2013
With the introduction of food bill country is heading towards disaster.It will add the bank balance of Politicians in their Swiss bank.Swiss bank is already flooded with such kind of money of Indian Politics. We should request the politicians to use the Dollars for their pyre and not wood which may help the poor who are not getting the proper pyre after death.



seetharam shetty | Wed Aug 28 12:12:52 2013
Fisrtly stablize the Indian Economy and dont play with the poor people let them teach how to stand their own feet stop bloody repeated corruption. If the Government play like this drama the people will become more lazy and corrupt. Millions of lands are simly lying barron try to encourage and support the people to cultivate and get good harvest.


Need Revolution
Kumar | Wed Aug 28 08:18:30 2013
Our politicians are more interested in making money for themselves. By Food Security Bill they have opened one more window of corruption. They are not at all concerned about betterment of the citizens of India but only think of their own interests. All players are same. Because they all know only one game, nothing else. What they speak, we cannot rely on that. Senior ministers are giving baseless statements.


Thanks
savio fernandes | Wed Aug 28 05:19:21 2013
I am happy to hear of the food bill but i hope that this food bill comes out of paper and goes in every poor Indian's home and that no one sleeps hungry, and pray to God that this bill may start functioning soon as possible for there are many who need food to survive.I thank God for this Food Bill , and thank the government for the effort to do this.


No one can save India
Nataraj.S | Wed Aug 28 01:38:07 2013
Dear Readers / True Indians, A per the Food Security Bill the expenditure is around Rs.39,600 / Second. This is going to spoil every individual of this nation. A true Indian will not do this or accept this. With this huge amount of money, if we link at-least few rivers then there will be no requirement of any import of food items. When there are N No. of vacancies in India in various fields (Especially for un-skilled / even illiterate having good option to earn at-least Rs.300 / Day). This type of Bills will make the people lazy and make more un- wanted things among the youngsters. The main things is to be noted that the UPA government or any other politician or Mr.Amartya Sen in India can grow & Cultivate the paddy, Wheat or any other crop with in 1 Rupee or a mere written documentary in white paper? This short of un-usual thing is not required for India.


 
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