[QODLink]
Central & South Asia

Indian parliament passes food-for-poor scheme

Upper house of parliament approves $22bn Food Security Bill which aims to provide cheap food grain to the poor.

Last Modified: 02 Sep 2013 19:21
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

The upper house of the Indian parliament has passed the federal government's National Food Security Bill which aims to provide cheap food grain to two-thirds of India's 1.2 billion population.

The proposed legislation was approved by the Rajya Sabha on Monday by a voice vote after an almost 10-hour-long debate.

During a day-long debate the opposition attacked the government, saying the measure was just repackaging of some existing schemes and a gimmick with an eye on elections scheduled for next year.

The programme would entail an annual expenditure of $22bn.

The ambitious bill, seen as a game-changer by the Congress Party-led government, now just needs a presidential assent to become a law.

The new legislation will entitle 67 percent of Indians to highly subsidised food. By giving cheap grain to the poor, the government is intending to wipe out endemic hunger and malnutrition across the country.

India has the highest percentage of malnourished children in the world after East Timor, 2012 annual Global Hunger Index says.

164

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
Anti-government secrecy organisation struggling for relevance without Julian Assange at the helm.
After decades of overfishing, Japan is taking aim at increasing the number of bluefin tuna in the ocean.
Chinese scientists are designing a particle-smashing collider so massive it could encircle a city.
Critics say the government is going full-steam ahead on economic recovery at the expense of human rights.
Spirits are high in Scotland's 'Whisky Capital of the World' with one distillery thirsty for independence.
join our mailing list