Govt may defer Parliament session to market food bill

Govt may defer Parliament session to market food bill

The monsoon session of Parliament appears set to be delayed with the government getting busy with implementing the Food Security Ordinance which seeks to provide cheap foodgrain to over 700 million people.

Government sources said no decision has been taken as yet on convening the monsoon session, which usually begins in the third week of July.

The government need not rush to hold a Parliament session as the government formation process is on in Jharkhand with  JMM taking the support of Congress, RJD and Independents.

Had a government not been in place in Jharkhand, the Centre would have had to seek the approval of Parliament for extending the President’s Rule in the state.
Jharkhand was put under President’s Rule on January 18 and the six-month term ends on July 17.

A Congress leader also pointed out that members of Parliament need to be given a 21-day notice before convening of a session and it was unlikely to be called before mid-August.

The government was mulling convening the monsoon session early for the passage of the Food Security Bill, but with an ordinance already in place the focus has now shifted to conveying the big ticket announcement to the people.

Food Minister K V Thomas gave a detailed briefing on the Food Security Ordinance to AICC General Secretary Ajay Maken, who is chairman of the party’s communication department.

Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit had a meeting with Thomas on Monday to discuss the roll out of benefits under the new law. Dikshit is expected to launch the programme in Delhi, which goes for elections later this year, on August 20, the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister, the late Rajiv Gandhi.

A challenge before the government would also be to get the requisite numbers to ensure approval of the Food Security Ordinance when it is replaced by a bill in Parliament.

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