Food Minister K.V. Thomas on Friday said the draft Food Security Bill is expected to go to Cabinet by December 10 to pave the way for its introduction in the ongoing Winter Session of Parliament.
“We have asked the government departments to send their comments on the draft Food Security Bill by December 1. After this, it is expected to go to the Union Cabinet by December 10,” Mr. Thomas, whose ministry is piloting the crucial Bill, told reporters on the sidelines of a realty conclave here.
The Food Minister said in all likelihood, the proposed Bill will be tabled in the ongoing Winter Session of Parliament, which ends on December 21.
Certain states like Maharashtra, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Assam and Uttar Pradesh have raised issues regarding procurement of foodgrains to meet the requirement of the food legislation, he said.
“Myself and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar would meet them on December 14 here to clear their doubts,” he added.
The proposed law, which the ruling Congress Party had promised in its election manifesto, seeks to provide a legal entitlement to subsidised foodgrains to 75 per cent of the country’s rural population and 50 per cent of urban India.
The government proposes to supply 7 kg of wheat/rice each month to every person falling in the ‘priority households’ category at a price of Rs 2 and Rs 3 per kg, respectively.
General households are to get a minimum 3 kg of rice and wheat per person per month at a price not exceeding 50 per cent of the support price.
On misleading advertisements, Thomas stressed on corrective action not only for consumer items, but also in the realty sector.
“There is a need for self-regulation by media organisations and other organisations against misleading advertisements on consumer items. The real estate sector, tasked with building houses for common man, shall also practice such self-regulatory action,” he added.
The minister said if self-regulation failed, the government might think of bringing a tough Bill to ensure that no one misuses the trust reposed in them by the public.
With respect to concerns that real estate firms are taking away agricultural land for house building, he said the solution lies in increasing farm productivity to ensure greater output from limited land.