NEW DELHI: India’s upper house of parliament on Monday approved a $20 billion scheme which aims to provide cheap grain to 800 million people, backing an anti-malnutrition drive that investors fear will mean missing the fiscal deficit target.
The proposed legislation was approved by the Rajya Sabha on Monday by a voice vote after an almost 10-hour-long debate.
During a day-long debate the opposition attacked the government, saying the measure was just repackaging of some existing schemes and a gimmick with an eye on elections scheduled for next year.
The Food Security Bill is seen as a vote winner by the ruling Congress party as it prepares for elections due by May next year. But investors reacted negatively to the plan when the lower house approved it last weak, on worries the government will struggle to contain the cost of subsidies.
The bill now just needs a presidential assent to become a law.