15 March 2012
Press Trust of India
NEW DELHI, 15 MARCH: Food minister Mr KV Thomas today ruled out clearance of Food Security Bill in the ongoing Budget session of Parliament saying consultations were still on to sort out problems raised by states and that it could be taken up only in the next monsoon session.
“How can it be tabled in the Budget session... Parliamentary Standing Committee is yet to submit its report,” Mr Thomas said on the sidelines of a function of the food and consumer affairs ministry here.
National Food Security Bill, 2011, which was introduced in Lok Sabha by Mr Thomas at the fag end of Winter session was expected to come up for discussion and passage in the Budget session.
Parliamentary Standing Committee on Food to which the Bill was referred after its introduction is yet to vet the proposed legislation that promises subsidised food security to more than 63 per cent of the country's population.
The minister said he consulted regularly with UPA chairperson Mrs Sonia Gandhi on the scheme which is considered as her pet project. West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and some other states have pointed out problems in the implementation of the programme. Agriculture minister Mr Sharad Pawar too expressed his reservations about the government's ability to procure sufficient food grain in the past.