It will be ready for discussion in coming Parliament session

The National Food Security Bill will be ready for consideration of the Cabinet before the winter session of Parliament begins, Union Minister of State for Food and Public Distribution K.V. Thomas said on Monday, the last day for receipt of public comments on the draft.

Even as the Right to Food Campaign decided to launch on Tuesday a protest to demand a universal public distribution system and food security for all, Mr. Thomas told journalists that he proposed to finish all work on the draft Bill and take it to the Cabinet by November 20. He hinted that there might be a few changes in the draft.

It is understood that welfare schemes such as the Janani Suraksha Yojna may be made mandatory.

Last Saturday, Mr. Thomas discussed the draft with National Advisory Council chairperson Sonia Gandhi and informed her that the Ministry would start finalising the draft next week by incorporating some of the views received.

Feedback from States

He said the process of consultation with the States was almost over; the Ministry had received comments from almost all the States, except Andhra Pradesh.

The draft proposes to give subsidised grain under the public distribution system to 75 per cent of the rural population with at least 46 per cent belonging to priority households and up to 50 per cent of the urban population with at least 28 per cent of them priority households.

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