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Indian Parliament Expected To Ratify National Food Security Bill

India began a key parliamentary session on Monday, during which “the government will seek to push through a giant program to provide subsidized food to two-thirds of the population,” BBC News reports. “The food security ordinance has to be ratified by the parliament within six weeks of its first sitting, otherwise it will lapse,” the news agency notes, adding that “the ambitious National Food Security Bill, which will cost 1.3 trillion rupees ($23.9 billion; £15.8 billion) a year, … is being called one of the world’s largest welfare schemes.” Under the bill, “the government will provide five kilograms of cheap grain every month to nearly 800 million poor people,” the news agency writes, adding, “Critics say the plan is a political move to win votes and will drain India’s finances. Supporters say it will help reduce poverty” (8/5).