National Food Security Bill Passed in Lok Sabha

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Lok Sabha on 26 August 2013 passed the National Food Security Bill 2013. The Bill was adopted by the House through a voice vote after a day-long debate. The Bill seeks to give legal rights to get subsidized grains every month to 67 percent of the overall population (of which 75 percent is rural and 50 percent is urban population).

As per the provisions of the Bill, the responsibility to identify the beneficiaries and implement the program under the Targeted Public Distribution Scheme is the responsibility of the states. The passage of the Bill in Parliament will guarantee 5 kilograms of rice, wheat and coarse cereals per month per person at the highly subsidised rates of 1-3 rupees a Kg.

During the passage of the Bill, an Amendment to Clause 8 of the Bill was suggested by the leader of opposition in Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj on which a revote was done. The amendment was declared null and void as the result of division displayed, 252 supports and 141 disagreements, making a total of 393 votes.

Once the Bill gets its nod in the Rajya Sabha and President’s accent, India will join the selected league of countries that guarantee food grants to a majority of its population.

Article 79 of the Constitution of Indian mentions about the provisions of the Constitution of a Parliament in the country: There shall be a Parliament for the Union, which shall consist of the President and two Houses to be known respectively as the Council of States and the House of the People.

Earlier, the proposal to promulgate an Ordinance to implement National Food Security Bill in the country was passed by the Union Government of India on 3 July 2013, which was replaced by the Bill in the 2013 monsoon session of Parliament to make it a law.

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