Cabinet approves food security ordinance

New Delhi, July 3 (IANS) The union cabinet Wednesday approved the food security ordinance. Under the constitutional arrangement, an ordinance has to be ratified by both houses of parliament within six months.

A proposal to consider the ordinance route to give effect to the food security bill was earlier deferred by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh June 13.

The prime minister deferred the ordinance, saying many political parties had suggested a debate on the bill in parliament.

The government faced opposition to food security ordinance from allies and opposition parties like the Samajwadi Party, the Left parties and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar.

The Bharatiya Janata Party did not allow parliament to debate the bill during the budget session that ended May 8 and sought the prime minister’s resignation over faulty coal blocks allocations.

The bill aims to provide subsidised food grain to around 67 percent of India’s 1.2 billion people. Around 800 million people would thus get the subsidised food grain at an initial cost of around Rs.1.3 lakh crore.

It is seen as a big-ticket legislation of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government and could prove to be a game-changer ahead of the 2014 general elections.

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