Food Security Bill: Pawar against bringing ordinance

New Delhi, June 7 (ANI): Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar on Friday said he was not in favour of bringing an ordinance on the Food Security Bill, and would prefer if the bill is discussed in parliament and then passed as law.

"If there is a question between ordinance and parliament, I would prefer the latter," said Pawar when asked where he stood on the UPA Government's proposed earlier move to issue an ordinance on the Food Security Bill.

Pawar's comment came even as media reported that the National Food Security Bill may now to be brought before Parliament during its Monsoon Session.

This is the latest indication from the government and the Congress Party on the ambitious measure with the talk of promulgation of an ordinance or convening of a special session of Parliament receding.

Congress sources have said that there could be a move to advance the Monsoon Session while a Union Minister said that the strategy ahead on the issue would be decided by next week.

On Thursday, Food Minister K V Thomas met Congress president Sonia Gandhi to discuss the issue.

Gandhi is keen to push her pet project that seeks to provide legal rights to 67 per cent of the population over a uniform quantity of five kilograms of foodgrains at a fixed price of Rs 1-3 per kg through ration shops.

The Food Ministry, the nodal department to implement the proposed law, itself is not much in favour of an ordinance to implement the food security law.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath is also said to be having several rounds of discussions on the best way forward in tabling the Bill in parliament.

The Bill was tabled in the Budget session but could not be taken up for discussion because of pandemonium in the Lok Sabha over various scams.

The Congress sees the Bill as a gamechanger ahead of the next general elections.

Apart from Pawar, Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh and some other ministries have voiced their opposition to adopting the ordinance route to implement the proposed food law.

"Ordinance should be the last resort," Ramesh has been quoted, as saying.

Finance Minister P.Chidambaram has said no decision has been made so far on the proposed Bill and added that it could take some time to be passed. (ANI)

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