Sunday, December 18, 2011

Food Security Bill in India 2011

Food Security Bill in India
Food security bill can also be referred as the improved, strong and advanced Public distribution system which is currently running in India. This bill has an aim to improve the existing distribution system and also to reach the farthest regions and people who are needy and need food at substantially low prices. Govt. has devised this bill which will cost around 1lakh Crore to the govt. to provide food security to around 75lakh households in the country.

One of the prime concerns of this Food Security bill is provide the Food security to the people who are below poverty line and people who are above this limit and can buy at very low prices. So, govt. has decided to provide Rice to these kind of people at Rs.3/kg , Wheat at Rs. 2/kg and maize for just Rs 1/per kg. This Food security bill proposes to make right to food a legal right.” This bill if passed guarantee food security to the 63% of the India’s population which includes 75% of the rural population and about 50% urban population.
This Food security bill has some provisions for expecting or pregnant women too. Govt will give every pregnant women around 2.25 crore women a sum of Rs 6000 as an expenditure cost incurred during pregnancy.
This Food security bill has been deferred for long in the cabinet due to differences in the opinion, now it has been brought again by taking the allies into confidence unlike the FDI bill for which allies has not been taken into confidence. KV Thomas the central food minister says that congress is following the instructions of her party president Mrs. Sonia Gandhi who had promised to the people in the 2008 election that within two years she will pass this bill of Food security.

The bill would have been tabled earlier instead of 18thDecember but due to the concerns of agriculture minister Sharad pawar it got deferred again at the last meet. He had raised the financial viability issue and also hinted at the pilferage of the public distribution system, which now seems to be clear and UPA has decided to move forward with the bill.

But again some of the concerns are not answered clearly by the UPA govt. these are:
  • ·         How the govt. is going to bear this 1lakh Crore extra expenditure cost for this bill?
  • ·         How the priority and general groups mentioned in the bill will be identified?
  • ·         What will be the time frame for determining the target groups, socio-economic and categories based on caste.  As these socio-economic and caste census data is still awaited, which was scheduled to arrive by 2011.
  • ·         What technique will be implemented to run this between the center and state govt.
  • ·         What will be the investment for augmenting the storage and freight capacity which already been stretched by the railway.

After this bill get introduced in the cabinet it will go to the food ministry then food ministry will finalize the draft and send this to standing committee which will be passed by the two houses in the next budgetary session.

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