Considered to be the world's largest experiment in providing food security to poor, the Bill was introduced by Food Minister K V Thomas amid thumping of desks by Congress members led by party chief Sonia Gandhi, who has been strongly pushing the ambitious social legislation.
Implementation of the scheme is expected to cost Rs 3.5 lakh crore and subsidy bill is expected to be to the tune of Rs 95,000 crore. The National Food Security Bill, 2011, provides for coverage of 75 per cent of the people in rural areas, including at least 46 per cent under priority sections (which is same as below poverty line families in the existing public distribution system).
Up to 50 per cent of people will be covered in the urban centres, with at least 28 per cent under priority category. Under the significant legislation, people eligible under priority category would be entitled to 7 kg of foodgrains comprising rice, wheat and coarse grains per person per month. Rice will be provided at Rs 3, wheat at Rs 2 and coarse grains at Re 1 per kg.
General category would get at least 3 kg of grains at a rate not exceeding 50 per cent of the minimum support price.