Congress top brass discusses way ahead on Food Security Bill

Congress top brass, including PM Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi, on Friday deliberated on the way ahead on the issue of Food Security Bill.

Last Updated: May 17, 2013, 21:37 PM IST

New Delhi: Congress top brass, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and party chief Sonia Gandhi, on Friday deliberated on the way ahead on the issue of Food Security Bill.

All options were considered, was the response of party sources who said no decision has been taken about the future course of action on the ambitious legislation as also on the Land Acquisition Bill.

Food Minister K V Thomas was specially invited to the deliberations amid talk that the party could even consider convening a special session of Parliament for the purpose.

The Law Ministry had recently told the Food Ministry during inter-ministerial consultations that without the list of intended beneficiaries with state governments in place and setting up of a redressal mechanism, an ordinance should not be promulgated as it would make the proposed law meaningless.

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 per cent of the population. The annual food subsidy will increase to Rs 1.2 lakh crore from the existing Rs 85,000-90,000 crore after implementation of the proposed law.

The meeting also took place in the backdrop of mounting pressure to drop tainted ministers in Andhra Pradesh. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy had earlier met Gandhi who also held consultations with party general secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad who is in charge of party affairs in state.

The meeting assumed significance in view of the demand by both the opposition and also a section of leaders within the ruling party to drop the ministers facing charges in Y S Jaganmohan Reddy`s disproportionate assets case.

Home Minister P Sabitha Indra Reddy and Roads and Buildings Minister Dharmana Prasada Rao have been named as accused by CBI in the Jagan case. Three other ministers have also received Supreme Court notices in the same case.