Food Bill likely in December: KV Thomas
Chennai: The proposed National Food
Security Bill for providing subsidised foodgrains to the poor
is likely to be introduced in Parliament by December this
year, Minister of State for Consumer Affairs and Food K V
Thomas said on Thursday.
The Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) has approved the
draft Bill, which is now before the Law Ministry, he told
"Once that is done, it has to go to the Cabinet. We will
also discuss with the Chief Ministers, because they are the
implementing agency... then it has to go to Parliament,"
Thomas, here to inaugurate a CII conference, said.
"What I propose is to introduce the Bill by this December
so that it can be implemented from next year," he said.
The draft Bill, the UPA-II's flagship project aimed at
making provision of food support to people facing hunger a
duty of the state, was earlier approved by the National
Advisory Council headed by coalition chairperson Sonia Gandhi.
Earlier, addressing the conference, "Building Warehousing
Competitiveness - The key to logistics success", Thomas said
the government plans to create a special purpose vehicle to
undertake studies on foodgrain storage handling and
"The Special Purpose Vehicle is for two purposes --- one
for the construction of godown and warehouses with modern
temperature control and the other is for the movement of
vehicles from the producing states to the consuming states,"
He said the Planning Commission was also undertaking a
comprehensive study to suggest measures for creation of modern
foodgrain storage infrastructure facility in the country.
With the modernisation of the food storage centres by
state governments, they were also looking to increase the
country's annual production of foodgrains from the present 55
million tonnes to 60 million tonnes.
He said the ministry was also looking at increasing the
food subsidy from the present Rs 60,000 crore to Rs 1 lakh