Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today expressed confidence that Parliament will soon pass the UPA government's landmark food security legislation aimed at providing cheaper foodgrains to 81 crore poor Indians.
The government has recently issued an Ordinance towards the food security law. Amid din, govt tables Food Bill
"The Food Security Bill is now before Parliament and we hope it will be passed shortly," Singh said in his Independence Day address to the nation from the Red Fort here.
Government's attempts to take up the much-hyped legislation in Lok Sabha yesterday failed for the second consecutive day due to disruptions caused over the Telangana issue.
Congress had issued a whip to its members to be present in the Lower House during discussion on the bill, which the party has termed as a "game-changer".
The law, he said, will benefit 75 per cent of India's rural population and half of the urban population.
Under the law, about 81 crore people would be entitled to receive rice at Rs 3 per kg, wheat at Rs 2 a kg and coarse grains at Rs 1 a kilo.
"This is the largest effort of its kind in the whole world. We have been able to implement this law only because of the hard work of our farmers. Our food grain production reached a record level of 25.9 crore tonne in 2011-12," Singh said.
The Prime Minister further said that after the enactment of the food security legislation, its implementation will be one of the priorities.
"We have already started working in this direction in partnership with States. Computerisation of the Public Distribution System will be speeded up," he added.
The subsidy burden would be Rs 1.30 lakh crore and foodgrains requirement would be 62 million tonnes annually.