Cabinet passed Ordinance to implement Food Security Bill
In order to implement the Food Security Bill, the cabinet unanimously approved an ordinance regarding the same. The Food Security Bill guarantees food entitlements to two-thirds (67%) at highly subsidized rates.
The bill envisages providing 5 kg of rice, wheat and coarse grains at Rs 3, Rs 2, Rs 1 per kg, respectively, every month to three-fourths of rural population and half the urban population in the country.
The scheme would require more than 61 million tonnes of foodgrain and is expected to cost the government about Rs 1,25,000 crore. The plan proposes to continue the Antyodaya Anna Yojna through which government provides poor households 35 kg foodgrain per household per month at subsidized prices of Rs 1-3 per kg.
Many are of the view that the programme will burn a hole in government’s pocket whereas research agency Crisil estimates that the Food Security Bill could generate additional savings of around Rs 4,400 this year for each below-poverty-line (BPL) household, which begins to purchase subsidised food. As per the agency, these savings equals around 8% and 5% of the annual expenditure of a rural and urban household.