New Delhi: The government on Monday said that it will soon introduce a Bill to enact a food security law that will provide 25 kg of rice and/or wheat at Rs3 to each family below the poverty line - a key poll promise of the Congress that heads the ruling coalition.
Presenting the Union Budget 2009-10, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said, the Bill will soon be introduced after consultation with different stakeholders.
A draft of food security bill will be put up on the website of the ministry of food and public distribution for public debate on this issue, he added.
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President Pratibha Patil had, on 4 June, said a National Food Security Act would be formulated whereby each BPL family would be entitled by law to get 25 kg of rice or wheat per month at Rs3 a kg, a promise made by the Congress before general elections 2009.
At present, the Centre provides 35 kg of rice or wheat per month to each BPL family. Wheat is supplied at Rs4.15 per kg while rice at Rs5.65 a kg to over four crore families living below the poverty line.
The Centre has enough foodgrain in its buffer stock to implement this law. On the back of bumper foodgrain output and higher minimum support prices, the government has procured a record of over 250 lakh tonnes of wheat and over 300 lakh tonnes of rice till 3 July this marketing season.