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HindustanTimes Sun,28 Dec 2014

Ordinance on land and food bills likely this month

Saubhadra Chatterji, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, May 10, 2013
First Published: 00:11 IST(10/5/2013) | Last Updated: 02:06 IST(10/5/2013)

The UPA government is likely to roll out its two flagship initiatives — food security bill and land acquisition, rehabilitation and resettlement bill  — through the ordinance route, within this month.

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Parliamentary affairs minister Kamal Nath met a few party strategists on Thursday to chalk out a possible plan that may see the two ordinances being promulgated, coinciding with the fourth anniversary of the UPA government—to be celebrated on May 22.

One plan is to bring the food bill ordinance next week and the other one between May 22 and 24.

The Congress managers are working on a strategy based on the presumption that opposition parties may not be able to later scuttle the bills replacing these ordinances as they relate to the sensitive issues of food and farmers.

Indicating that the government is keeping the option of ordinance open on the two key issues, information and broadcasting minister Manish Tewari said, “as far as ordinance is concerned, we will cross the bridge when it comes.”

Congress president Sonia Gandhi is keen that the two key bills see the light of day.

The food ministry was earlier considering rolling out some benefits of the food security bill through executive orders, but Gandhi is believed to have reminded the party strategists that the Congress had promised a law to give legal right to food.

Congress sources also suggest that push for the two legislations — especially the food ordinance — would be able to deflect the attention that is currently focused on the railway ministry’s cash for post scam and the coalgate controversy.

The Congress kept the second half of the budget session running till May 8, hoping that it would get the opposition on board for passing the food bill, but it opposition refused to soften their stand.


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