Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: Aware that time is running out to get the crucial Food Security Bill passed, the UPA government on Monday afternoon initiated discussion on the gamechanger anti-poverty legislation in Lok Sabha.
Here are some updates from Lok Sabha:
3.30 pm: BJP leader MM Joshi turns to Mulayam Singh Yadav, says "don`t support the Govt on this."
3.20 pm: Food Security Bill is flawed, says BJP`s MM Joshi, adding, "Small states like Chhattisgarh are giving food to 90 percent people, why can`t Centre do the same."
3.10 pm: Making a point by point rebuttal of the Food security bill, BJP leader said, "This Bill is not Food Security Bill, this is a vote securing bill."
2.45 pm:"The Bill mentions ready to eat food, nutritional food, fortified food. Where will this come from," questions BJP`s MM Joshi.
"What is the definition of `household`, does a single person qualify. Universal food guarantee should be the aim. I live in a city, what will I eat? Should I eat coal or spectrum," asks Joshi.
"You are providing Food security to some, so don`t make noise about universal security, Joshi to Govt. "The govt is misleading public. The bill does not meet the nutritional requirement, says BJP leader.
2.35 pm:Senior BJP leader MM Joshi takes on government by saying it has taken our years in formulating the Food Bill.
"The UPA govt has brought the bill when it is time for it to go. We want to know what it has been doing in all this years," said Joshi.
2.30 pm: I have moved a resolution for the disapproval of the Bill, says CPI MP Prabodh Panda
2.14 pm: Left leader Prabodh Panda says, "There are major flaws in the bill, and is incomplete". It does not address the need of everyone in equal measure."
2.12 pm: Left Front opposes the Food Security Bill.
2.10 pm:The current PDS has a leakage of at least 25% which we need to close," Food Minister KV Thomas said.
"Food Security Bill ensures more transparency and accountability in the PDS system, the Food Minister said, adding, "The number of persons to be covered by the Food Security Bill will be based on the 2011 census."
"The Minister continued by saying, "Pregnant woman are entitled for Rs 6,000 per year."
2.06 pm:The matter regarding identification of beneficiaries will be left to the state governments, said Thomas.
2.05 pm:Union Food Minister KV Thomas initiates the debate on the crucial Food Security Bill in Lok Sabha.
The government has not been able to take up the Bill in the House till now due to repeated din and disruptions because of which several days of the Monsoon session have been lost.
Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalaitha had announced that her party the AIADMK will vote against it. She said the Bill in its present form does not help Tamil Nadu and most of her demands had not been accepted by the Central government.
Despite opposition from several parties, the ruling Congress appears confident that the landmark bill will be approved by the Lower House of Parliament. The ongoing Monsoon Session of Parliament is scheduled to end on August 30.
If it gets passed in the Lower House today, the bill can be taken up in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.
Politics scuttled Congress` plans to get it passed for the entire week August 19-24 as the Opposition did not let the house run over the issues of missing coal-block allocation files, statehood for Telangana and high prices of food items.
The government has planned to take up some other important bills during the coming week like Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Bill, 2012, Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Amendment) Bill, 2011, The Securities Laws (amendment) Ordinance, 2013, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (amendment) Ordinance, 2013, Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill, 2011 and the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority Bill, 2011.
Keeping in mind the long list of bills and just four days available to get them passed, the Congress issued a whip to all its members to be present in Parliament and support government business.