Brinda Karat targets Congress, calls for discussion on Food Security Bill

New Delhi, July 3 (ANI): Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Brinda Karat on Wednesday said that the Food Security Bill has never been a top priority for the Congress-led UPA Government, and demanded that there should be a proper discussion in the Parliament on it before it is passed.

"We really regret that for the last four years, food security was not a priority for this government. Many other things were (there), but not the Food Security Bill because we believe that in a country with such high numbers of malnourished people, food security-particularly there should be a legislation to back it-must be the first priority of this government which has not been," said Karat.

"Now, without that priority they want to push an ordinance on a bill, which has flaws in many aspects, which is why my party has already moved very serious amendments. Now, even without looking at those amendments, the government wants to push through an ordinance. Therefore, I think the only correct way would be for the government to give priority to this bill in the forthcoming session of Parliament and allow a proper discussion on it, to allow us to move our amendments and then let it pass," she added.

The proposed ordinance on the food security is likely to be taken up again at a meeting of the Union Cabinet here today.

On June 13, the Cabinet had deferred the proposal amid differences on the issue.

Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said after the meeting of the Union Cabinet that the government will try to call a special session of Parliament to debate and pass the Bill, which aims at providing the legal right to subsidised food to nearly 67 percent of India's population.

The Food Security Bill was tabled during the budget session of Parliament, but could not be taken up for discussion because of opposition-led disruptions of proceedings arising out of scam-related allegations.

The Food Security Bill is aimed at giving legal rights to 67 per cent of the population for a uniform quantity of 5 kg foodgrains at a fixed price of Rs one to three per kg through ration shops. (ANI)

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