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Sonia’s NAC clears Food Security Bill
New Delhi, Jun 22 (Agencies):
Published on 22 Jun. 2011 10:31 PM IST
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The National Advisory Council (NAC), which is headed by Sonia Gandhi, has finalised its draft of the Food Security Bill. Mrs Gandhi will forward this document to the Prime Minister.
The historic Food Security Bill entitles 75% of India's population to highly-subsidized foodgrains.
The Bill says two types of households are eligible for discounted grain - "priority households" which are below the poverty line (BPL); and "general households" which consist of Lower Middle Class families.
Priority households are entitled to 35 kilograms per month of foodgrains at these rates - Rs. 3 per kg of rice, Rs. 2 per kg of wheat and Rs. 1 per kg of millets. General households have the right to 20 kilograms at a price not exceeding 50% of the Minimum Support Price paid to farmers for the three grains.
The cheapest rates of Rs. 3, 2 and 1 will cover 40% of the country's total population. Some estimates suggest this could cost the government $22.3 billion or Rs. 1.1 trillion per year.
The National Advisory Council functions as the government's interface with Civil Society.
It says its mission is "to provide policy and legislative inputs to Government with special focus on social policy and the rights of the disadvantaged groups."
Highlights of food security bill
• It covers 90% of rural population and 50% of urban India.
• 46% of rural households and 38% of urban households are entitled to the lowest rates; together, they add upto 40% of India's total population.

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