Minister of state for Food and Civil Supplies KV Thomas on Saturday said the draft Bill of Food Security Act was under final stages of preparation and government plans to implement schemes under the Act next year.
Schemes under the Act would be introduced in 150 districts across the country in the first phase and the food subsidy bill of the Centre would go up to Rs One lakh crore from the present Rs 83,000 crore, Thomas told reporters.
Once it was implemented fully, 75% of rural and 50% of urban population would be benefitted. Foodgrains would be supplied to people at a reduced rate as per the scheme. Centre would set up a chain of storage facilities as procurement from local farmers would go up, he said.
Government would come out with new guidelines to identify people under BPL and APL category, Thomas said, adding, Cabinet had rejected the planning commission proposal to fix earning of Rs 20 per day as baseline to identify a poor person.
Guidelines would be finalised after considering the Supreme court and states suggestions on the matter, he said.
Steps were on to modernise the rationing system. Two crore bogus ration cards in the country were eliminated from the list recently, Thomas said.
Centre has appointed a committee to suggest measures to reduce wastage of food articles during public functions and marriages, he added.