68 % of Indians may get legal right to get subsidized food as per the recommendations by the National Advisory Committee (NAC) and Rangarajan Committee, the Food Ministry seeks to provide the legal rights to subsidized food on individual basis to about 68% of Indian population. The draft bill, likely to be placed before the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) on food next week. At present, the government supplies 35 kg of rice/wheat to 6.52 crore Below Poverty Line families and at least 15 kg of food grains to 11.5 crore Above Poverty Line families. The cost of subsidizing food grain under the proposed law is expected to touch Rs 1,00,000 annually, as against the current Rs 80,000 crore, sources added.
A priority household is likely to get entitlement over 35kg rice/wheat under the law , while a general category may be for only 10-15 kg, which is lower than the NAC’s proposal of 20 kg, sources said.. The legal right to an “individual” family member would enlarge the scope of food security in the country
Report by Maria Roy