Par panel to submit report on Food Bill in Winter Session

Par panel to submit report on Food Bill in Winter Session New Delhi: The Parliamentary panel examining the National Food Security Bill, which aims to provide legal right to cheaper foodgrains to 63.5 percent of the country's population, is looking at submitting its report during the forthcoming Winter Session.

"We are expediting the process and hopefully we will submit the report in the coming Winter Session of Parliament," Chairman of Parliamentary Committee on Food Vilasrao Baburaoji Muttemwar said.

The Food Bill, which is a pet project of UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and was part of the promises made during the 2009 General Elections, was referred to the Parliamentary committee in January. The panel was asked to submit the report by April.

Meanwhile, the term of the panel ended in August and it was reconstituted to complete the report on Food Bill.

Muttemwar said that preparing a report on a landmark bill like food security involves a great deal of time because all the stakeholders' views need to be taken into account, and the panel is holding regular discussions with various experts.

"Many experts have shown interest to come before the committee to share their views on Food Bill. We are hearing to everyone's views," he said.

Noting that state governments' views on this bill are important, Muttewar said, "Implementation of this bill will depend on state governments. We are awaiting their report."

He further said the panel is also examining more than two lakhs of letters received from various quarters.

Recently, Food Minister K V Thomas had said the proposed Food bill will be introduced in the forthcoming session in December.

"We expect the standing committee to finalise suggestions for the bill and then it will be cleared by the Cabinet. We expect to place the bill in December during the Winter Session," Thomas had said.

Besides the Food Bill, the committee is also reviewing two other bills -- Consumer Protection (Amendment) Bill and Warehousing Corporation (Amendment) Bill.

PTI