Cabinet may meet on Food Bill on Sunday, says KV Thomas

UPA Cabinet
New Delhi, Dec 14: With the government deferring a decision on the Food Security Bill as talks have been inconclusive, Food Minister K V Thomas today (Dec 14) said Cabinet is likely to meet this Sunday to discuss the important legislation threadbare.

However, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said the views of some states still need to be taken on board before clearing the draft Bill and hoped that in the next 8-10 days, a final discussion would take place.

"A special Cabinet is coming on Sunday, that is what I understand. That we will discuss that matter because this is a major Bill, discussions have to take place little more threadbare," Thomas told reporters here on the sidelines of a function on procurement.

Speaking on the sidelines of same function, Pawar -- who heads the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), an important ally of the UPA government -- emphasised that state governments need to be taken into confidence, as they would implement the proposed Act.

"The government is committed to bring the Food Security Bill. This issue is a serious issue. Its implementation is a big responsibility for the state governments. We here will take the decisions, but it is the state governments who would be implementing it," he said.

"The Centre is of the opinion that it has to take states into confidence while taking decisions on the Food Security Bill. So the discussions on this issue are on. I feel that in the next 8-10 days, a final discussion on this issue will take place and Cabinet will have a common view on it," he added.

Cabinet had yesterday deferred a decision on the Food Bill -- a pet project of Congress President Sonia Gandhi -- as discussions remained inconclusive.


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