Thursday, July 4, 2013

Parliamentary debate indispensable

The govt has decided to promulgate an ordinance to give nation’s two-third population the right to 5 kgs of food grain every month at highly subsidised rates of Rs 1-3 per kg.The Ordinance is to come into effect after President Pranab Mukherjee signs it.The Cabinet, which had on last month deferred a decision on the issue, has approved promulgating an ordinance to implement the Food Security Bill. Even after the Ordinance, the Bill will have to be approved by both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.The government’s decision to bring an ordinance to implement the Food Security Bill has drawn flak from major Opposition parties. Govt. deserves to be severely criticized for bypassing the Parliament for sometime and hoodwinking the people that no political party except it can protect their interest first. No political party is against the Food Security Bill, but each and every is against the ordinance route to promulgate it. It is to be done more with the intention to win poor’s favour in the Lok Sabha elections next year than fulfilling their primary subsistence needs the food grain at highly subsidized price. The haste shown in promulgating the Food Security Bill through ordinance smacks of ulterior motive of UPA-II. If the Bill got President’s assent, 67 percent poor people will be benefited. Food Security Bill is the brainchild of Congress President and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi. Four years of UPA II has elapsed, the bill was never brought in Parliament for a threadbare discussion so that the people could know its pros and cons. It was brought only in the last Parliament session amid disruption and chaos, and the government adjourned it sine a die. The ruling Congress-led UPA finding itself embarrassed and humiliated due to unchecked corruption and rising prices, it has chosen to take the ordinance route to halt its sagging image and win the 2014 Lok Sabha elections with this flagship programme as it did with MNREGA IN 2009 Lok Sabha elections. UPA-II has completely failed to keep up the performance of its previous avatar UPA-I. All good and public-centric work has been undone by UPA-II. So, UPA-II has chosen ordinance route to win the favour of 67 percent poor people in haste. But the way it has bypassed the parliamentary debate and discussion must not be done in vibrant democracy like India. The Bill like this makes legal provision to feed two-third of our population. It must occupy top position on the agenda for Parliamentary debate and discussion. UPA-II should have called Special Session of Parliament to pass the bill after thorough debate and discussion. It apparently looks awkward and haste in taking the decision to promulgate Food Security Bill to feed the 67 percent without throwing any light on it through Parliament.

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