(AP) India plans to subsidize wheat, rice and cereals for some 800 million people under a $20 billion scheme to cut malnutrition and ease poverty.
The Food Security Bill, which is expected to be approved by India's president, guarantees citizens a legal right to food.
India has some of the world's worst poverty and malnutrition with two-thirds of its 1.2 billion people poor and half of the country's children malnourished.
The new scheme allows those who qualify to buy 5 kilograms of rice a month for 3 rupees (4.5 cents) a kilogram. Wheat will cost 2 rupees a kilogram, and for cereals the cost is 1 rupee.
The bill was passed by India's upper house of parliament on Monday after being passed last week in the lower house.