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NEW DELHI: India's upper house of parliament on Monday approved a $20 billion scheme to distribute subsidised wheat and rice to 800 million people, backing an anti-malnutrition drive that investors fear will mean missing the fiscal deficit target.

The Food Security Bill is seen as a vote winner by the ruling Congress party as it prepares for elections due by May next year.

But investors reacted negatively to the plan when the lower house approved it last weak, on worries the government will struggle to contain the cost of subsidies.

The scheme has now been passed by both houses. Before becoming law it must be signed by the president, a formality.

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Comments (3) Closed

Sep 03, 2013 11:50am

So 800 million need food assistance out of 1.2 billion. So that is $25 for these poor souls for one year. Around Rs. 135 per month at 65 to the dollar. I wonder what are they going to feed them for this much price when even onions are 60-70 per kg. Or maybe the number of poor is grossly exaggerated.

Ravi Ingale from University of Pune
Sep 03, 2013 03:06pm

In this way India will never progress. If a labor or someone lives in poor condition and if he can get food in just Rs 1 or 2 per Kg food then why should he do hard work and he will just go on the road and asking begging uptil Rs 10 so that he can bring enough food for his 2-day requirements. This government just pulling India's people more down instead of high. Brainless politician.

Sep 03, 2013 09:39pm

@malik: Ask your government to give a constitutional right to poor for getting 35kgs. Grain per person per month. Thus scheme comes after government give 150 days guranteed right to employment. Dont crib about your state of affairs but ask dawn to create more awareness so poor people in pakistan can also survive with dignity. take government to court incase some poor dies of hunger