Food Bill likely to be tabled in Parliament in December: Thomas

Chennai: The proposed National Food Security Bill aimed at providing foodgrains at subsidised price to the poor is likely to be introduced in Parliament by December this year, Union Minister of State for Consumer Affairs and Food K V Thomas said on Thursday.

The Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) had approved the draft Bill which was now before the Law Ministry, he told reporters here.

"Once that is done, it has to go to the Cabinet. We will also discuss with the Chief Ministers, because they are the implementing agency…then it has to go to the Parliament." Thomas, here to inaugurate a CII conference, said.

"What I propose is to introduce the Bill by this December so that it can be implemented from next year", he said.

The draft Bill, UPA II`s flagship project aimed at making provision of food support to people facing hunger a duty of the state, had earlier been approved by the National Advisory Council headed by the coalition chairperson Sonia Gandhi.

Earlier, addressing the conference "Building Warehousing Competitiveness – The key to logistics success", Thomas said the government was planning to create a special purpose vehicle to undertake studies of food grain storage handling and transportation.