India's Department of Food and Public Distribution has released a draft of the National Food Security Bill on its website and is encouraging the public to comment and make suggestions by the end of September.

While the 27-page draft Bill does not define which households will qualify as "below the poverty line," instead referring to them as "priority households," it does give the government the power to issue guidelines defining priority households, as well as those households that are excluded from this category. The draft also discusses cash transfers or food coupons for both categories (priority and non-priority households), proposing rates of Rs 3, Rs 2, and Re1 per kg for rice, wheat, and coarse grains respectively in case of the priority households and 50 per cent of the minimum support price in the case of non-priority households.

In total, draft Bill promises to provide subsidized food grains to 75 percent of the rural population, 46 percent of which will be the priority households, and 50 percent of the urban population, including 28 percent in the priority category. Subsidies will be provided through the targeted public distribution system.

View the draft National Food Security Bill.

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