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BJP ready to favour the Food Security Bill after amendments

BJP leader Ananth Kumar said that the Centre's ambitious Food Security Bill has to be debated before it is fully adopted


Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday said that they would suggest some amendments in the Food Security bill before getting it passed in both the houses.

BJP leader Ananth Kumar said that the Centre's ambitious Food Security Bill has to be debated before it is fully adopted.

"The Bill needs to be debated and the Bharatiya Janata Party is going to put forward several suggestions and amendments in the existing Bill. Post this debate the house would adopt it," he said.

Meanwhile, another BJP leader C.P Thakur put forth his party's stance on the Food Security Bill and said that his party has never opposed any measures taken for the poor.

"The BJP will suggest some changes in the Food Security Bill and after that the Bill will be passed. As this Bill is for the poor people and they will be benefited from it so BJP is always ready to favour the government and work for any such measures taken for the poor people," Thakur said.

Before the commencement of the Monsoon Session of Parliament, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh had appealed to the opposition parties for their cooperation during the Session and deemed the Food Security ordinance the "most important" ordinance that the Parliament has on its hands.

"But all that we expect fully is to ask the opposition to cooperate with the government in passing the essential legislative work, which is the primary responsibility of Parliament. Of all the ordinances, five or six ordinances which are before the Parliament and most important is Food Security Ordinance," said Dr. Singh.

"And I sincerely hope that the Parliament in its wisdom will find it productive, find it justified to convert that Ordinance into a Bill and an act of Parliament," he added.

Fourteen Congress-led states are expected to roll out the UPA's food security scheme from August 20, the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

Congress President and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi had held consultations with chief ministers of all Congress-ruled states on July 13, where she asked them to efficiently implement the food security scheme in "letter and spirit."

President Pranab Mukherjee signed the ordinance on the Food Security Bill on July 5, with the aim of providing food grains every month to two-thirds of the nation's population at highly subsidized rates.

Political parties have sharply criticized the promulgation of the ordinance, calling it undemocratic and demanding that the Food Security Bill should be debated in both Houses before being passed.

The bill aims to provide 5 Kg of food grains per person per month at a subsidized rate through the State Governments under the targeted public distribution system. It is set to be the largest food welfare scheme in the world.

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First Published: Mon, August 05 2013. 17:15 IST