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Cabinet meet likely Sunday on Lokpal, food security bills

Saturday December 17, 2011 11:36:13 PM, IANS

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New Delhi: The union cabinet is expected to meet here Sunday evening to discuss the Lokpal and the food security bills, said official sources.

The cabinet meeting, earlier scheduled for Monday, would now be held Sunday evening, the sources said Saturday evening.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, on his way back from Russia Saturday, said the government hopes to bring the Lokpal bill to the cabinet by Sunday.

"We are working day and night to give shape to the bill and it is my hope that by tomorrow we should be able to bring the bill to the cabinet," he said.

Officials in the food and consumer affairs ministry said the food security bill is also expected to be taken up by the cabinet Sunday.

Official sources said the government has taken into account suggestions of parties at the all-party meeting and the standing committee report on Lokpal to give a final shape to the legislation aimed at creating an anti-corruption ombudsman.

Opposition parties including the Bharartiya Janata Party (BJP) and Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) have called for inclusion of prime minister in the ambit of Lokpal with certain exceptions. They had also called for inclusion of group 'C' employees.

The BJP had also demanded an investigative mechanism for Lokpal and ensuring operational independence of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Meanwhile, the National Food Security Bill had hit a road-block over high subsidy involved and availability of grains. The draft bill had provided coverage of 75 percent of rural population and 50 percent of urban households and proposes right to 7 kg foodgrains per person per month, at Rs.3 per kg for rice, Rs.2 per kg for wheat and Rs.1 per kg for coarse grains to the priority beneficiaries.

Sources said the government has taken its allies on board on both the bills.

They said Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar had expressed concern that food subsidy, currently at Rs.63,000 crore, may go up to Rs.1.2 lakh crore to implement the right to food law.

 




 


 

 

 

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Working on Lokpal bill, Anna should be patient: Government

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