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.

    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.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The peace games: Dreaming big for South Sudan's youth

    The peace games: Dreaming big for South Sudan's youth

    A relatively new independence and fresh waves of conflict inspire a South Sudanese refugee to build antiwar video games.