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Cabinet to take decision on Food Bill tomorrow

Press Trust of India
Dec 17, 2011 at 09:03pm IST

New Delhi: After addressing concerns of UPA allies and some Congress members, the Cabinet is expected to meet on Sunday to approve the Food Security Bill that aims to provide legal entitlement to subsidised foodgrain to 63.5 per cent of the country's population.

"I have been informed that the Cabinet is meeting tomorrow evening," Food Minister KV Thomas told over phone from Kochi.

On Friday Thomas had said the Cabinet would meet on Monday.

Cabinet to take decision on Food Bill tomorrow

The bill aims to provide legal entitlement to subsidised foodgrain to 63.5 per cent of the country's population.

A decision on the draft Food Bill was deferred in the last Cabinet meet earlier this week, reportedly for want of time and also due to concerns raised by Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar.

In the last two days, Thomas had met various Cabinet minister seeking to evolve a consensus by explaining the key provisions of the bill in detail to them.

"I have explained the provisions of the Bill to all the members, including those from allies," Thomas said. He expressed the hope that the draft Bill would get the Cabinet approval.

He said once the Cabinet approves the bill, the Ministry would finalise the draft Bill and try to introduce it in the winter session of Parliament as promised.

After introduction, the Bill is expected to go to Parliamentary Standing Committee and the UPA government would try to get it passed in the Budget session, sources said.

The National Food Security Bill, considered the greatest experiment in the world to provide food security to the poor, is a pet project of Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory Council. It was a promise made by the Congress Party in its manifesto of the 2009 general elections.

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