New Delhi: The ruling dispensation at the Centre may face fire over the National Food Security Bill (NFSB) as Nationalist Congress Party leader and the Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar along with other ministers are also likely to throw a spanner in passing the Bill in the Parliament.

Several Cabinet Ministers are said to be having reservations against the contents and subsidy provision of the legislation. According to the ministers, the project would be a huge subsidy burden on the government especially at a time when inflation and global slowdown are affecting the Indian economy.

Before Cabinet meeting on Monday for in-depth discussion on NFSB, Food Minister KV Thomas met Home Minister P Chidambaram, Civil Aviation Minister Vyalar Ravi, Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh and Human Resource Minister Kapil Sibal on Friday to explain in details about the proposed Bill and evolve consensus on it.

In a bid to resolve the hitches in the Food Security Bill, Thomas discussed with Trinmool Congress leaders and Railways Minister Dinesh Trivedi in this regard.

If the Bill is implemented, the burden owing to food subsidy bill is expected to zoom out about Rs 95,000 crore from the existing Rs 63,000 crore as well as the requirement of foodgrains would go up to 61 million tonnes from 55 million tonnes.

The National Food Security Bill was given a go-ahead by the National Advisory Council (NAC), headed by the Congress President Sonia Gandhi. The proposed bill seeks to give a legal entitlement to subsidised foodgrains, which could benefit 63.5 per cent of the country's population.

JPN/Bureau