Food Bill to face toughest test in parliament on Monday - The New Indian Express

Food Bill to face toughest test in parliament on Monday

Published: 02nd September 2013 07:26 AM

Last Updated: 02nd September 2013 12:26 PM

The National Food Security Bill will face its sternest test on Monday with the Rajya Sabha taking it up for consideration and passing, since the ruling UPA is in a minority in the Upper House. While the Lok Sabha passed the Bill last week rejecting all the 305 amendments moved by the Opposition and adopting the 11 introduced by the government, the situation may be totally different in the RS.

Although the government managers are confident that the Elders will approve the Bill, the Opposition intends to use its clout to force the ruling dispensation to accept a whole array of amendments.

“We will oppose the Food Security Bill in Rajya Sabha,” said AIADMK leader V Maitreyan. The main opposition BJP, which supported the Bill in the Lok Sabha, will do so in Rajya Sabha as well, but with amendments. The Left too is getting ready to move amendments.

If the Opposition fails to relent, the government may have to depend on the BSP and the JD(U) to bail it out. But if the government is forced to accept the amendments, the Bill may have to go back to the Lok Sabha for a fresh vote.

CPI leader D Raja said, “We shall be moving crucial amendments on Monday during the debate on Food Security Bill and we will see that these amendments are accepted.” Stressing the need for making the public distribution system universal, Raja said the nutritional component in it should also be taken into consideration. “The public distribution system should be streamlined and made universal. We should consider all aspects of food security. There should not be reduction in supply of food grains from the Centre to the states,” he said.

Since the government had extended the Monsoon session by a week, there will be no Question Hour in Rajya Sabha and the Food Bill will be taken up for discussion on Monday as soon as the House assembles.

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