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Govt does not want to take hasty decision on Food Bill: Anwar

Says hopeful the Bill will come up for discussion in next Parliament session

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The government does not want to take any hasty decision on the Food Bill and would like to take all political parties on board for its smooth passage in the next session of Parliament, Minister of State for Agriculture and NCP leader Tariq Anwar said today.

"We are not in a hurry to clear the Food Bill. It is a very important bill for us and we do not want to take any hasty decision on the bill, we would like to take all parties into confidence," Anwar told PTI on the sidelines of an event.

The NCP leader further said that he was hopeful the bill would come for discussion in the next Parliament session.

The government had tried to get the Food bill passed in Lok Sabha in the recently-concluded Budget session. The debate on the proposed legislation could not be concluded amid din. The bill was introduced in December 2011 in Parliament.

Recently, Food Minister K V Thomas had virtually ruled out bringing an Ordinance for implementation of Food Bill and favoured discussion on the proposed legislation in the coming Parliament session.

The Food Bill aims to give legal right to a uniform quantity of 5 kg foodgrains at a fixed price of Rs 1-3 per kg via ration shops to 67% of the population.

Speaking at an award function, Anwar said the quality of planting materials used by farmers play a major role in achieving high output.

"It is essential that new varieties developed by individuals, be it scientists or farmers, be protected and duly compensated," he said.

Plant varieties need to be protected as they form the base material for development of new varieties and therefore it is the key for achieving higher farm output, ensuring higher returns to farmers, he said.

The minister presented the 'Plant Genome Saviour Community Awards" to four farming communities and 15 individual farmers for their outstanding work in the area of conservation and protection of land races.

First Published: Wed, May 22 2013. 14:21 IST