The Union Cabinet of India on 3 July 2013 approved the proposal to promulgate an ordinance to implement National Food Security Bill in the country. The bill seeks to give legal rights to get subsidized grains every month to 67 percent of overall population. As per the bill provisions, the responsibility to identify the beneficiaries and implement the program under the Targeted Public Distribution Scheme is the responsibility of the states.
The food security programme when implemented will be the biggest in the world with the government spending estimated at one lakh 25 thousand crore rupees annually. The ordinance is being promulgated before the 2013 monsoon session of Parliament.
The ordinance guarantees 5 kg of rice, wheat and coarse cereals per month per person at a highly subsidized rate of 1 to 3 rupees per kg. Rice will be made available at 3 rupees a kg, wheat at 2 rupees a kg and coarse cereals at 1 rupee a kg.
The ordinance has been sent to the President for his assent. Rules would be framed to roll out the program as soon as the President signs the ordinance.
The Ordinance is the Legislative Power of President of India covered in Article 123 of Constitution of India.
Article 123-Power of President to promulgate Ordinances during recess of Parliament:
(1) If at any time, except when both Houses of Parliament are in session, the President is satisfied that circumstances exist which render it necessary for him to take immediate action, he may promulgate such Ordinances as the circumstances appear to him to require.
(2) An Ordinance promulgated under this article shall have the same force and effect as an Act of Parliament, but every such Ordinance-
(a) Shall be laid before both Houses of Parliament and shall cease to operate at the expiration of six weeks from the reassembly of Parliament, or, if before the expiration of that period resolutions disapproving it are passed by both Houses, upon the passing of the second of those resolutions; and
(b) May be withdrawn at any time by the President. Explanation.- Where the Houses of Parliament are summoned to reassemble on different dates, the period of six weeks shall be reckoned from the later of those dates for the purposes of this clause.
(3) If and so far as an Ordinance under this article makes any provision which Parliament would not under this Constitution be competent to enact, it shall be void.
Who: Union Cabinet
Where: New Delhi
When: 3 July 2013