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Food bill a mere repackaging of existing schemes, says Jaitley

Food bill a mere repackaging of existing schemes, says Jaitley

New Delhi: Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley Monday said the Food Security Bill was a mere "repackaging" of existing food schemes in different states and added that the government's "hurry" to push through the ordinance and now the legislation was "misuse of power".

Speaking on the bill, which was introduced in the upper house after being passed by the Lok Sabha last week, Jaitley also said that the bill would result in cutting down on the number of people benefiting from the food scheme.

The Food Security Bill is ruling United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi's pet project.

Jaitley said every state's needs are different and it would be better if they could design the food entitlements for their people separately.

He also said that if some states have better schemes they should be allowed to continue with it.

"The present food programmes with states have entitlements but no right. Now the entitlement will become a right (under the food security bill)," he said.

"What was the need for such hurry for the ordinance and legislation... This is misuse of power," he said.

"This is just a repackaging of existing schemes in states," he said, and added that it was a "one size fits all" programme.

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