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Jan 16, 2013, 09.47 PM IST | Source: PTI

House panel may submit report on Food Bill on Thursday

The Parliamentary Standing Committee is likely to submit its report on Thursday on the UPA's ambitious Food Security Bill to the Lok Sabha Speaker, with few dissent notes from the members.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee is likely to submit its report on Thursday on the UPA's ambitious Food Security Bill to the Lok Sabha Speaker, with few dissent notes from the members.

In December 2011, the government had introduced the Food Security Bill, a pet project of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, in the Lok Sabha. It aims to give legal entitlement on subsidised foodgrain to about two-thirds of the population, costing the exchequer over Rs 1,00,000 crore.

The panel's chairman Vilasrao Muttemwar has sought time from the Speaker on Thursday to submit the report, sources said, adding that the report would carry some dissent notes. Last week, Opposition parties led by the BJP had blocked the adoption of the report on difference in opinion on issues like the coverage of poor and quantity of grains to be supplied.

According to sources, the committee has suggested covering 67 percent of the population, which is almost in line with the government's Bill. Sources said the panel has suggested to the Centre that it give freedom to states to identify the beneficiaries.

It is also believed to have suggested that the government consider the option of merging two categories of beneficiaries - general households and priority households - with slightly lesser entitlement, sources said, adding that some suggestions on cash transfer of food subsidy have also been made.

The Bill aims to give rice and wheat at Rs 3 and Rs 2 respectively to priority households (same as BPL families). General households would get grains at 50 percent of the minimum support (MSP) price.

The priority households would get 7 kg of foodgrains per person per month, while general households would get at least 3 kg. Under the proposed law, 75 percent of the rural and 50 percent of the urban population would be covered.

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