Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Food Insecurity Bill

The government wants to bring Food Security Bill which in fact is Food Insecurity Bill. The bill is dictated by NAC which functions as super cabinet and should have no place in a democracy.

The members of NAC either do not know what happens in India or do not care. Both cases are unpardonable.

Food grains are acquired but not stored properly. They rot in godowns or outside godowns. Some godowns meant for stocking food grains stock liquor bottles. Food grains, that would have gone to people who die of starvation, rot. In Haryana food grains stored outside FCI godowns have rotten so much that they are not fit even for animal consumption and Haryana Warehouse Corporation wants to auction them at 62 paise per kg for those who want to use those rotten food grains as manure. Many starvation deaths would not have taken place if acquisition of food grains had been proper. When Supreme Court tells to distribute food grains free to prevent their getting rotten prime minister says it is not for Supreme Court to decide policy. Money is wasted on procuring food grains and food grains are wasted without proper storage and delivery.

India’s PDS has leakages and many times food grains do not reach intended recipients. NAC wants to supply per family per month 35 kg of rice at Rs.3 per kg, 35 kg of wheat at Rs.2 per kg and 35 kg of millets at Re.1 per kg to priority category and 25 kg of the same to general category at less than half of minimum support price. That means acquiring more food grains which will result in more disappearances and more wastage. There will be less food in open market and that will lead to food insecurity.

How will the difference between supply price and minimum support price be made up? It has to be either by increasing taxes or by printing notes. Increasing taxes in not a popular option and printing notes results in inflation. Subsidy in any form is bad and when it covers 75% of the population it is a disaster.

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