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Cabinet to take up food bill Monday

Cabinet to take up food bill Monday

New Delhi: The union cabinet will take up the revised National Food Security Bill on Monday, Food Minister K.V. Thmoas said Friday.

"We have circulated the note. The bill will be taken up by the cabinet Monday," Thomas said.

According to officials, the bill will give entitlement to around 67 percent of citizens for five kg rations per person per month at Rs.3 per kg for rice, Rs.2 per kg for wheat and Re.1 per kg for coarse grains.

In the bill that was introduced in the Lok Sabha in December 2011, the government had proposed 7 kg of grains per month per person to "priority households" and at least 3 kg of foodgrain at half the MSP for "general households".

However, the current entitlement of 35 kg grains per month for 2.4 crore poorest of the poor families under the Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) will be protected in the bill, said officials.

Though there are 71 amendments proposed in the bill after taking into account the recommendations of the parliamentary standing committee on food, only five to six are major ones, said officials.

According to officials, women with more than two children will also be entitled to nutritional support under the bill.

Also, the government would be able to revise the prices of grains after three years, they said. The criteria to exclude citizens to identify the real beneficiaries would be discussed with states, they said.

Once the cabinet clears the bill, it is likely to be taken to parliament next week as the ongoing budget session will break for a month from March 22.


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