Kamal Nath for early passage of Food Security Bill, Ordinance still an option

New Delhi, June 12 (ANI): Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath on Wednesday insisted that there should be a prompt passage of the Food Security Bill by the Parliament or else the government may be compelled to enact it through an ordinance.

Kamal Nath blamed the Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) for delay in passage of the Food Security Bill.

"It (Food Security Bill) should have been passed in the last session itself, but the BJP never let it happen. So, we do not want to delay this. This Bill benefits 65 percent of the population of this country. We should not delay it even by a day and constitutional provision of an ordinance is there. We should bring it as fast as possible," he said.

Janata Dal-United (JD-U) chief Sharad Yadav on his part suggested that the Food Security Bill should be debated again in the Parliament, as it is a major issue.

"The Bill should be passed after consensus of all leaders and it is unfair if they want to usher this bill through an ordinance," he said.

Meanwhile, the Communist Party of India-Marxist ((CPI-M) leader Brinda Karat raised questions over the impatience of Congress Party to pass the Food Security Bill without any discussion with other political factions.

"For the last three years, the government has not moved. (In) last two years, 60 million tonnes of food grain was rotting, rats were eating it and getting fat, but the government did not bother about it and now they can't wait one month for the Monsoon Session of Parliament," said Karat.

"Why? Because they do not want a full-fledged discussion; they do not want reasoned arguments as to why this Bill is flawed and why these amendments would only strengthen the Bill. Without discussing this, they want to push it through because you know once an ordinance is there, then it is just rushed through Parliament," she added.

The Union Cabinet will today promulgate an ordinance to push through the Food Security Bill. The move will make the Food Security Bill a law without taking prior approval from Parliament, something that the opposition is strongly objecting to.

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 over a uniform quantity of 5 kg foodgrains at a fixed price of Rs 1-3 per kg through ration shops.

The Congress, which leads the UPA, considers the Bill as a game changer in the run-up to the next elections. (ANI)