Bhubaneswar: The Union Cabinet on Sunday night approved Sonia Gandhi’s pet project- Food Security Bill and it will soon be introduced in the ongoing winter session of Parliament.

After the Cabinet decision, 62.5 per cent of the country’s population, 75 per cent people in rural India and 50 per cent in urban India would be legally entitled to cheaper food grains.

The Cabinet, presided by Prime Minister Mr. Manmohan Singh, allowed the draft National Food Security Bill after a brief discussion. Last week, the decision on the Bill was postponed when Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar expressed concerns over huge financial implications and availability of foodgrains.

Food Minister KV Thomas had said on Saturday that the “total financial liability to implement the law would be Rs 3.5 lakh crore as funds would be required to raise agricultural production, create storage space and publicity among others”.

As per the provision, each beneficiary household will be supplied 7 kg of rice, wheat and coarse grains at the rate of Rs 3, Rs 2 and Rs 1 per kg respectively, per month. The food subsidy is expected to rise by Rs 27,663 crore taking the overall figure to Rs 95,000 crore, while foodgrains requirement would go upto 61 million tonnes from 55 million tonnes, as per the Cabinet proposal.

Further, aiming to empower women, the Bill proposes to issue ration card to the eldest female member of the family, sources said.