Contrary to expectations, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday did not take up a draft ordinance on food security for consideration.
It appears the draft ordinance, aimed at providing food security to 67 per cent of the population, was not considered due to procedural delays.
Sources said Union Law Minister Kapil Sibal has signed the draft ordinance too late for it to be circulated in time for the Cabinet meeting. The Cabinet Secretariat got the papers only on Tuesday morning.
Despite the criticism from the Opposition parties for taking the ordinance route instead of having a proper discussion in Parliament on the food security Bill, the government is all geared up to go ahead with the ordinance on the ambitious scheme. Sources said the Union Cabinet would consider the ordinance in its next meeting. After the UPA coordination committee meet on Monday, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath had said that all options were open on the food Bill issue. The same was repeated by Minister of Information and Broadcasting Manish Tewari on Tuesday.
Almost the entire Opposition is against the ordinance route on food security and wants the government to prepone the Monsoon Session of Parliament so that the Bill would be discussed properly. Opposition Leader Sushma Swaraj said under the Constitution, an ordinance could be promulgated only in extraordinary situations.