`Parliament disruptions forced govt to bring Ordinance on food bill`

Repeated disruptions during Budget session of Parliament forced the government to bring an Ordinance to implement food bill, KV Thomas told Lok Sabha.

New Delhi: Repeated disruptions during the Budget session of Parliament forced the government to bring an Ordinance to implement the landmark food bill, Food Minister K V Thomas told Lok Sabha on Monday.

The President promulgated the Food Security Ordinance on July 5 as Parliament was not in session and immediate action was required to be taken to ensure that benefits of the proposed legislation reach the people at the earliest, he said while explaining the rationale behind bringing an Ordinance.

Stating that time has already lapsed in passing of the Food Security Bill since its announcement by the then President on June 4, 2009, Thomas said: "The government was of the considered view that it will not be appropriate to further delay the reaching of the proposed benefits of the Bill to the people of the country."

The food bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha on December 22, 2011 and same was referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee which presented its report in January this year.

The government gave notice in Lok Sabha in the Budget Session for consideration and passing of the Bill, along with official amendments.

Thomas informed the Bill was included in the business of the House twice on March 21 and 22 before the recess of the Session. After reassembly of the House on April 22, 2013, the Bill was again listed on each working day.

"A motion for consideration and passing of the Bill was moved in the Lok Sabha on May 2, 2013 and some members also participated in the discussion on the Bill on May 6 and May 7. However, the discussion could not be concluded in the Budget Session, and Parliament was adjourned sine die on May 8, 2013 and thereafter both the Houses were prorogued," he said.

The Ordinance gives the nation?s three-fourth population the right to get 5 kg of food grains every month at highly subsidised rates of Rs 1-3 per kg.