The National Advisory Council of India recently proposed a Food Security Bill. In an article published by Frontline, Triple Crisis blogger Jayati Ghosh examines the proposed Bill and argues that in pushing for a greatly truncated public distribution system (PDS), the Bill undermines the PDS itself.
“It seems that the obsessive desire to keep the price of subsidised foodgrain at the level that was promised – even if only for some chosen sections and at the cost of large-scale exclusion and possible diversion – has dominated over the goal of ensuring a viable and vibrant system of public procurement and distribution.”
“If any system of food procurement and distribution has to cope with varying situations, it has to allow for the possibility of some people moving in and out of the system, choosing to use the ration shops when market prices are high and opting out when market prices are low. Only when the food security of the entire population is secured in a coherent manner can we be sure that we are securing the food security of its most deprived sections.”
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