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Food bill: UPA may go for special session first

The UPA Coordination Committee will meet today to finalise the Food Security Bill. Parliamentary affairs minister Kamal Nath would hold consultations with all political parties on holding a special session to pass the food bill.

delhi Updated: Jun 03, 2013 13:49 IST

The government may decide to push the food security bill through ordinance if the Opposition continues to stall its passage and all efforts to call the special session of Parliament fail, indicate sources ahead of the UPA coordination committee meeting scheduled for Monday.

Today's meeting is being held to arrive at the consensus on the future course of action among allies and then approach the opposition with the necessity of calling a special session of Parliament. If the option fails, sources say, then the UPA government may bring in the ordinance.

The decision in this respect was taken at the Congress core group meet at the Prime Minister's residence on Saturday.

The National Food Security Bill, 2011, considered to be the world's largest experiment in ensuring food security to poor, has been a key project of Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

It aims at meeting the food needs of 75% of rural households and 50% of urban households. The bill classifies all entitled households as "general" and "priority".

At least 46% of rural households and 28% of urban households would be designated as "priority". Every person belonging to a "priority household" will be provided with seven kilograms of grain per month, comprising rice, wheat and coarse grain. Rice will be provided at Rs. 3, wheat at Rs. 2 and coarse grain at Rs. 1 per kilogram.

Others belonging to the "general category" would be entitled to not less than three kilogram of grain per month at a rate not exceeding 50% of the minimum support price.

Meanwhile, Bharatiya Janata Party president Rajnath said the UPA was trying to pass the food and land bill without discussion on the floor of the house.

First Published: Jun 03, 2013 12:16 IST