New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday gave his assent to the ordinance on Food Security that had been approved by the Cabinet on Wednesday. The President has signed the ordinance, which now becomes a law.
It will now be tabled before Parliament for approval. Parliament has to clear it before six months as the ordinance will lapse after that. The government has majority in the Lok Sabha but in the Rajya Sabha it would need the help of the Opposition to pass the bill.
The Food Security Bill, a pet project of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, was tabled in the Budget session of Parliament but could not be taken up for discussion due to pandemonium in the Lok Sabha over various scams.
With this, India will join select league of countries in the world that guarantee majority of its population foodgrain. At Rs 125,000 crore of government support, the food security programme will be the largest in the world.
The ordinance will guarantee 5kg of rice, wheat and coarse cereals per month per person at a fixed price of Rs 3, 2, 1, respectively. However, about 2.43 crore poorest of the poor families covered under the Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) scheme under PDS (public distribution system) would get legal entitlement to 35kg of foodgrains per family per month.
(With additional information from PTI)