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President may ratify food ordinance today

The President’s Secretariat received the ordinance on the food security law late Thursday night. President Pranab Mukherjee

The President’s Secretariat received the ordinance on the food security law late Thursday night. President Pranab Mukherjee is likely to accord his consent on Friday giving effect to the crucial legislation, cleared by the Cabinet on Wednesday,according to government sources.

The ordinance comes only weeks ahead of the monsoon session of Parliament,leading to a buzz in political circles. A senior cabinet minister,who did not want to be named,said the ordinance is meant to send a strong political message that the UPA is committed to the poor and marginalised sections. The minister admitted that the ordinance has several “drawbacks and weak links”.

Another minister said the ordinance has three challenges that even the government is not clear how to deal with. It recognises lady of the house as beneficiary of the food security law that guarantees 5 kg of rice,wheat,coarse cereals per month at highly subsidised rates. But the existing system recognises man of the family as head,which needs legislative rehaul. Secondly,the beneficiary list has not been prepared. Thirdly,the reach of the PDS is way too short of the targeted reach of 81 crore people under the law,said the minister.

Both ministers,who spoke separately,agreed that the law cannot be implemented soon.

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First published on: 05-07-2013 at 01:24:07 am
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