Food bill: Must end the problem of hunger, Sonia Gandhi tells Lok Sabha
Opening the Congress innings on the debate in Lok Sabha on Food Bill, she rejected questions over whether the country had resources to implement the landmark measure.
New Delhi: Declaring Congress' goal to "wipe out hunger and malnutrition", Sonia Gandhi had on Monday asked all political parties to set aside differences and support the Food Security Bill so that a "big message" could be sent out about India's capabilities.
Opening the Congress innings on the debate in Lok Sabha on Food Bill, she had rejected questions over whether the country had resources to implement the landmark measure.
"It is time to send out a big message that India can take responsibility of ensuring food security for all Indians...our goal is to wipe out hunger and malnutrition all over the country," Gandhi said about her pet agenda.
Making a strong pitch for smooth passage of the landmark legislation, the UPA chairperson said the measure is a historic opportunity to provide food security to tens of millions of people in the country which will end the problem of hunger once for all.
She sought to dismiss questions over whether the ambitious scheme could be implemented. "The question is not whether we have enough resources or not and whether it would benefit the farmers or not. We have to arrange resources for it. We have to do it," she said in the House where Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was present.
Gandhi said farmers and agriculture have always remained priority of the UPA.
Agreeing that reforming public distribution system (PDS) was a must for the food law, Gandhi noted that there was basic need to remove the leakages to ensure that benefits of the food bill reached the intended beneficiary.
Gandhi said the Congress had made a commitment to the nation in the 2009 election manifesto to bring forward such a legislation. It is one in a series of various rights promised and provided by UPA like Right to Information, Right to Education, Right to Work and Right to Forest Produce.
Recently, the Indira Gandhi camp earned a distinction of sorts - it is home to 12 women who are among the initial beneficiaries of the food security scheme launched by the Delhi government on Tuesday.
BJP President Rajnath Singh on Tuesday said his party was not opposed to the Food Security Bill but said certain necessary amendments were necessary.