With its currency in meltdown and growth at the lowest in the past decade, India's government on Monday passed a landmark food subsidy bill that will cost the country an estimated $19.8 billion each year.
The program will vastly expand the world's biggest food program and is a key part of the ruling Congress party's strategy to win re-election in May 2014.
The legislation has been criticized by analysts who question spending more money at a time when growth is slowing and when India has both budget and current account deficits.
(Read more: Here's what's happening in emerging markets)
The government's fiscal deficit in 2012-2013 was 4.9 percent of GDP. India plans to borrow roughly $100 billion this year (not including the new program) to plug that gap, and the country is having to pay a hefty 8.3 percent on its 10-year debt.