India tables flagship food subsidy plan in parliament
NEW DELHI (AFP) - India's ruling Congress party introduced into parliament on Wednesdsay its flagship subsidised food bill for the poor that it sees as key to winning a third term in office.
The populist programme - which the government says will add 230 billion rupees (S$4.8 billion) per year to the country's existing 900-billion-rupee food subsidy bill - is being introduced with an eye on elections due by May of next year.
The measure has been pushed strongly by the head of the ruling Congress party, Ms Sonia Gandhi, who has insisted on honouring a 2009 election pledge despite concerns about the impact on government finances and food prices.
The bill is expected to be debated next week.