The Cabinet on Monday postponed a decision to approve the draft food security bill because three top ministers, including finance minister P Chidambaram, were in Chennai to hold talks with DMK chief M Karunanidhi, who has threatened to withdraw from the government on Sri Lankan issue.
Defence minister AK Antony and health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad were also in Chennai. “The food bill has been deferred by the Cabinet for tomorrow,” food minister KV Thomas.
The revised food security bill will give monthly food handouts to 67% of the population, or about 800 million Indians, as a legal right.
Though the bill itself will only guarantee monthly handouts of 5kg for every entitled person, or 25 kg for a family of five — the average size of an Indian household — the government proposes to continue current allocations, which are higher, or about 35 kg in some states.