New Delhi :  Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Saturday hoped the landmark Food Security Bill, to ensure the right to highly subsidised foodgrains to poor, would be passed in the ongoing Budget session of Parliament, reports PTI.

 The National Food Security Bill is a promise of the UPA government, he said while addressing the National Editors’ Conference here. “I am confident that it will be passed soon by the Parliament, perhaps, in the Budget session itself,” he said. In the 2013-14 Budget, he said an amount of Rs 10,000 crore has been set apart over and above the normal provision for food subsidy towards incremental cost that is likely under the Food Security Act. The Cabinet on Tuesday had cleared amendments to the Bill, which aims to grant the country’s 67 per cent population the right to get monthly quota of foodgrains at highly subsidised rates of Rs 1-3 per kg. The amendments will guarantee 5 kg of foodgrains per person per month, while families in the poorest of the poor will continue to get 35 kg of grains per month. The ongoing Budget session, which went into a month’s recess, will end on May 10. About 62 million tonnes of foodgrains would be required to implement the bill, while the food subsidy is estimated at Rs 1,24,747 crore at 2013-14 costs, which is Rs 23,800 crore higher than the existing level.

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