NEW DELHI, Sept. 2 (Xinhua) -- Indian upper house, Rajya Sabha, passed the controversial Food Bill on Monday evening, local news channel TIMESNOW reported.
The Food Security Bill, which aims at providing subsidised food to the country's two-thirds of the population, was passed in the Rajya Sabha along with amendments after a long debate by the members.
It will be sent to President Pranab Mukherjee for his assent. The lower house, Lok Sabha, has passed the bill after a nine hour debate on August 27.
Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said the bill was mere "repackaging" of existing schemes in different states, and criticised the "hurry" to push through the legislation.
The food security scheme aims at giving at least five kgs of cheap grain each month to two-thirds of India's population. In fact, it proposes to provide a kilo of rice at three rupees (six U. S. cents), wheat at two rupees (four U.S. cents) and millet at one rupee (two U.S. cents) to 800 million poor people.
The welfare measure, said to be the biggest in the world, will apply to 75 percent of Indians living in rural areas and 50 percent of urban people.