Revised National Food Security Bill cleared by the Union Cabinet
The revised form of the National Food Security Bill has been cleared by the Union Cabinet. As per the revised Bill:
- 67% of nation’s population (including 75% rural and 50% urban) will be entitled for subsidized grains under the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS).
- 5 kg of rice, wheat or coarse cereals at Rs. 3, 2 and Re. 1 a kg a month to every beneficiary who will be identified by the States based on parameters prescribed by the Union government.
- Antyodaya Anna Yojna, which serves 2.43 crore beneficiary households with 35 kg grains a month under the TPDS, will continue.
- Maternal benefits will not be provided to a pregnant woman beyond two live births to encourage “two-child norm”.
- Subsidized prices of grains may be revised after 3 years to the level of the minimum support price paid for procurement of grains.
- Bill will be implemented in phases.
- While the existing allocation of grains to the States shall be protected, the cost of transporting grains to ration shops shall not be passed on to consumers as was proposed earlier.
- The additional burden on the food subsidy is estimated at about Rs. 23,000 crore at 2012-13 prices.
- The grain requirement is estimated at 61.23 million tonnes.