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Economy Jul 3, 2013

Cabinet likely to discuss Food Security Ordinance today

New Delhi: The proposed ordinance on food security is likely to be taken up again at a meeting of the Union cabinet on Wednesday, when it will consider whether to go ahead with promulgating it or convene a special session of Parliament for its passage.

Sources said the the National Food Security Ordinance, 2013 is listed on the cabinet's agenda for Wednesday. On 13 June, the cabinet had deferred the proposal amid differences on the issue.

Finance Minister P Chidambaram said the UPA government is committed to bringing the food law as promised in the Congress manifesto for 2009 general election.

Securing food. Reuters

Securing food. Reuters

"The Food Bill is a promise made by the UPA and the Congress party. It is one of the promises, we believe, on which the people voted the UPA back to the power. If that is the will of the people that we must have a Food Security Act in place, I think UPA will have an Act, a law in place," he said.

Asked whether government is late in fulfilling the promise to bring food security law, Chidambaram said, "We are not late. Nobody said all promises will be implemented in first 100 days."

"Five year tenure was to implement promises. We will implement the promise only when economic condition promise us to implement the promise. This is the promise which we had said we will implement. It will be implemented," he added.

On convening a special session to pass the bill, he said, "That I don't know. That is for minister of parliamentary affairs to answer."

The Food Security Bill, a pet project of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, was tabled in the Budget session of Parliament but could not be taken up for discussion due to pandemonium in the Lok Sabha over various scams.

The Bill aims to give legal rights to 67 percent of the population over a uniform quantity of 5 kg foodgrains at a fixed price of Rs 1-3 per kg through ration shops.


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