Funds no problem for Food Security Act, MNREGA: PC to Cong MPs

Funds no problem for Food Security Act, MNREGA: PC to Cong MPs

Amid concerns in Congress, Finance Minister P Chidambaram today assured party MPs that funds will not be a constraint in implementing the ambitious Food Security Act.

Chidambaram also ruled out any roll back of the proposal in the budget to introduce a law which will empower officials to arrest service tax evaders even as some party MPs in the meeting felt there was a need to have a re-look at it.

The Finance Minister was briefing 100-odd party MPs from Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha on the Union Budget, a preparatory exercise for party members before the discussion on the budget in Parliament.

The name of Narendra Modi also cropped up during the one- and-half-hour interaction over the claims of the Gujarat Chief Minister on the issue of development. Some said his develoment claims are not right.

Chidambaram told the MPs during the interaction that despite the financial constraints before the government in a scenario of global economic slow-down, the government has not compromised anywehere so far in funding of flagship schems like MNREGA.

He said "funds would not be a problem" as the MPs wondered why only a sum of Rs 10,000 crores have been earmarked for the food scheme in the budget.

As part of the government's efforts to kickstart the growth engine, Chidambaram told concerned ministries to get early approvals for their plans so that they could go cracking in the year ahead.