If food is so cheap, then why call for a food security bill?

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Bangalore, July 26: All the controversy over price of meal in contemporary India raises a simple question. If things are indeed so smooth, then why did the UPA government show a tremendous sense of urgency in passing the national food security bill recently, even as an ordinance?

If a meal is available in this country at meagre rates of Rs 12 (as said by Congress MP Raj Babbar), Rs 5 (Congress MP Rasheed Masood) or even Re 1 (former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah), then why did the government thought of providing foodgrain at subsidised prices? What is at play here? Welfare economics, naked populism or a hopeless democracy?


Under the much-talked about food bill, eligible households will get foodgrain not exceeding Rs 3 per kg but if an entire meal is available for a paltry Rs 12 (the maximum as according to a party leader) then what is the point in pressuring the economy through more subsidies? Difficult to understand.

There is a systematic attempt to get India rid of its poor by pretending to practise a welfare economics. The drivers of the nation are trying to display an inclusive model of growth but actually they are heading to the opposite direction.

The party motormouths and some close allies have been engaged in the task of projecting non-sense theories to spread a feel-good factor that the poors in India are decreasing in their numbers and that India is on its course towards a bright economic future.

The aim to secure the food necessity of the poor is a noble one no doubt but the way the Indian government has reduced the entire subject of food into a sham, there will be very few people remaining from here on to trust the intention.

The UPA government would have done better had it focussed on ensuring food security for the poor as a ground issue and try to iron out the challenges that come with such a programme and not make it a hot election issue and subject of endless debate with the opposition. A Nobel-winning economist like Amartya Sen had also backed the plan, not for nothing, but instead of setting the ball rolling on this important issue, the government felt happy to trivialise the matter to ultimately lead nowhere.

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