Even as the Lok Sabha failed to function for six days due to disruptions, the UPA government has laid down its plan to pass the ambitious food security bill on Wednesday. Congress president Sonia Gandhi is set to be the first speaker from the party during the debate.
Gandhi’s participation is aimed to send a strong political message on the bill that is touted as the biggest social sector initiative of the UPA government. The Congress is also pinning its electoral hopes on this ambitious bill that aims to provide highly subsidized foodgrains to 67% of the population.
The food ministry is likely to bring back a category of entitlements which were part of Gandhi’s original proposals but had been set aside by government. These relate to provisions for those considered most vulnerable to hunger, such as community kitchens for homeless and destitutes. Another provision is to keep private contractors out of meal-based schemes under the government’s Integrated Child Development Scheme, which administers the mid-day meal programme.
While it is still struggling to run the parliament smoothly, the government however, managed to bring many Opposition parties on board on its plans to reverse the effects of the Supreme Court orders related to members of parliament and legislative bodies and reservation in super specialty posts of All India Institute of Medical Sciences.
Law minister Kapil Sibal told an all party meeting that the government will file review petitions against SC’s orders quashing reservation in super specialty posts and barring arrested people from contesting elections.