NEW DELHI, March 19 (Reuters) - India's total food subsidy
is seen at 1.3 trillion rupees ($23.98 billion) to cover
expenditure for its Food Security Bill which aims to expand
cheap food provision for the poor, Food Minister K.V. Thomas
said on Tuesday.
However, the amendments to the bill approved by cabinet on
Tuesday and seen by Reuters say the estimated food subsidy is
about 1.25 trillion rupees.
The federal budget puts spending on food subsidies for
2013/14 at 900 billion rupees and Finance Minister P.
Chidambaram said in his speech announcing the budget on Feb. 28
he would set aside an extra 100 billion rupees for the bill.
The Food Security bill will now go to parliament for
discussion this week, the minister added.
($1 = 54.2050 Indian rupees)
(Reporting by Ratnajyoti Duttal; Editing by Jo Winterbottom)