Highlights of India’s food security bill

By Reuters Staff
July 3, 2013

India’s cabinet on Wednesday issued an executive order to start a 1.3 trillion rupee ($22 billion) welfare programme that would bring cheap food to hundreds of millions of poor people throughout the country.

Despite the order, both houses of parliament must vote on the programme when they meet for the Monsoon session later this month.

The programme, which would provide highly subsidized food to about two-thirds of India’s population, is seen by many as a key initiative of the ruling Congress party, and one that can help them win votes in the 2014 general elections.

Here’s some background on the bill from a June 13 Reuters article:

The programme aims to provide subsidized wheat and rice to 70 percent of India’s population. When implemented, the scheme will massively broaden an existing programme of providing cheap food to 218 million people.

Critics say beneficiaries do not stand to gain as about 40 percent of rice and wheat earmarked for the poor gets siphoned off due to corruption. An inefficient distribution channel also leads to waste.

Despite being one of the biggest producers of food supplies, India is home to 25 percent of the world’s hungry poor, according to a U.N. agency.

Here are some of the highlights of this bill:

  • Up to three-quarters of people in the rural areas and up to half of the urban population would get five kilograms of grains per month at subsidized prices (3 rupees per kilo for rice, 2 rupees per kilo for wheat and 1 rupee per kilo for coarse grains).
  • The poorest households would continue to receive 35 kilograms of grains per month under the “Antyodaya Anna Yojana” at subsidized prices.
  • Pregnant women and lactating mothers would receive a maternity benefit of at least 6,000 rupees.
  • Children aged six months to 14 years would get take-home ration or hot cooked food.
  • The central government also would provide money to states and union territories if it runs low on grain.
  • The central government also would provide “assistance” towards the cost of intra-state transportation, handling of grains.
  • In a bid to give women more authority in running their households, the oldest adult woman in each house would be considered the head of that household for issue of ration card.

(Source: PIB website, read complete text here)

2 comments

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sir instead of giving subsidy proper marketing and infrastructure creation for man power for productive purposes as advocated by M K Gandhi is desirable. Traditional chakki alone can provide employment to 25 crore peoples if their manual produce is marketed properly. and physical work training is provided in education curriculam as advocated by gandhiji. such work centres offering work for all can be used to man power required for all other works in case of need. m m gupta

Posted by mmgupta | Report as abusive

There are various sectors in which the government can really boost the economy and revenue. It also enhances tens of millions of employment, the major sectors which a government needs to focus are
1. Indian Postal Service
- Now-a-days how many of us trust Indian Post for personal use and how many corporates are using this. If government focus on highly scrutinized and quality deliverable then there will be just a million jobs for truck drivers. This can also include heavy supply chain management across the globe.
2. Indian Airways
- When Dubai a small country is successful in Airlines why not India?
- It can acquire heavy fleet of operations in India with huge employment
3. Indian Health Service [Hospitals]
- Even a subsidized proper health service will lead to huge potential
There are many other like
4. Indian Security Personnel
5. Indian Defense System
6. Transportation which is the major up-gradation required like trains traveling at 200MPH linking all the Metro and Cosmo cities through out India.

Posted by Nikhilesh.K | Report as abusive