Food Ordinance should take shape of an Act: Ministers

The Cabinet on Wednesday gave its nod to an ordinance to implement the Food Security Bill.

New Delhi: Even as the Cabinet gave its nod to an ordinance to implement the Food Security Bill, some ministers said the executive order should soon take the shape of an Act after being passed by Parliament.

During Wednesday`s Cabinet meeting, some ministers were of the opinion that the ordinance should get the nod of Parliament so that it becomes an Act.

Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar is learnt to have said that GM crops should be allowed in the country to meet the growing demand for food. He felt that there was a need to invest more to improve the irrigation infrastructure in the country.

He also wanted pulses and cereals to be included in the scheme to give the poor proper nutrition.

Brushing aside political opposition, the government today decided to issue the ordinance to give nation`s two-third population the right to get 5 kgs of foodgrains every month at highly subsidised rates of Rs 1-3 per kg.

The Food Security programme when implemented will be the biggest in the world with the government spending estimated at Rs 125,000 crore annually on supply of about 62 million tons of rice, wheat and coarse cereals to 67 per cent of the population.

The Cabinet, which had last month deferred a decision on the issue following differences within, approved promulgation of an ordinance to implement the Food Security Bill.