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The National Food Security Ordinance – Discuss

edited July 2013 in Current Affairs
Prelims : 2/5; Mains : 0/2; Interview : 0; Remainder : 1+1 (Tired but not; Retired) / Medical Science / Kolkata / Nihilist extraordinaire | Thanks a lot...

Comments

  • Ex-railwayman,Indian Police service
  • @Eric How do you get to these links from the website?
    I don't like to reply to idiots and if you think I am referring to you, you are probably correct.
  • u can get that from right side of the website.
    Ex-railwayman,Indian Police service
  • u can get that from right side of the website.
    Thanks, seems like us not working on my tab, will check later on laptop.
    I don't like to reply to idiots and if you think I am referring to you, you are probably correct.
  • edited July 2013
    The National Food Security Ordinance- Highlights

    The National Food Security Ordinance is a historic initiative for ensuring food and nutritional security to the people. It gives right to the people to receive adequate quantity of foodgrains at affordable prices. The Food Security Bill has special focus on the needs of poorest of the poor, women and children. In case of non-supply of foodgrains now people will get Food Security Allowance. The bill provides for grievance redressal mechanism and penalty for non compliance by public servant or authority. Other features of the Ordinance are as follows.

    (*) Coverage of two thirds population to get highly susidized foodgrains

    Upto 75% of the rural population and upto 50% of the urban population will have uniform entitlement of 5 kg foodgrains per month at highly subsidized prices of Rs. 3, Rs. 2, Rs. 1 per kg.for rice, wheat, coarse grains respectively . It will entitle about two thirds of our 1.2 billion population to subsidised foodgrains under the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS.

    (*) Poorest of the poor continue to get 35 kg per household

    The poorest of poor households would continue to receive 35 Kg foodgrains per household per month under Antyodaya Anna Yajna at subsidized prices of Rs 3, Rs 2 and Rs 1. It is also proposed to protect the existing allocation of foodgrains to the States/Uts, subject to it being restricted to average annual offtake during last three years.

    (*) Eligible households to be identified by the States

    Corresponding to the coverage of 75% rural and 50 % of urban population at all India level, State wise coverage will be determined by the Central Government. The work of identification of eligible households is left to the States/UTs, which may frame their own criteria or use Social Economic and Caste Census data, if they so desire.

    (*) Special focus on nutritional support to women and children

    There is a special focus on nutritional support to women and children. Pregnant women and lactating mothers, besides being entitled to nutritious meals as per the prescribed nutritional norms will also receive maternity benefit of at least of Rs. 6000/-. Children in the age group of 6 months to 14 years will be entitled to take home ration or hot cooked food as per prescribed nutritional norms.

    (*) Food Security Allowance in case of non supply of foodgrains

    The Central Government will provide funds to States/UTs in case of short supply of food grains from Central pool, In case of non-supply of food grains or meals to entitled persons, the concerned State/UT Governments will be required to provide such food security allowance as may be prescribed by the Central Government to the beneficiaries.

    (*) States to get assistance for intra-State transportation and handling of foodgrains

    In order to address the concern of the States regarding additional financial burden, Central Government will provide assistance to the States towards cost of intra-State transportation, handling of foodgrains and FPS dealers� margin, for which norms will be developed. This will ensure timely transportation and efficient handling of foodgrains.

    (*) Reforms for doorstep delivery of foodgrains

    The Bill also contains provisions for reforms in PDS through doorstep delivery of foodgrains, application of information and communication technology (ICT) including end to end computerisation, leveraging �Aadhaar� for unique identification of beneficiaries, diversification of commodities under TPDS etc for effective implementation of the Food Security Act. Some of these reforms are already underway.

    (*) Women Empowerment-- Eldest women will be Head of the household

    Eldest woman of eighteen years of age or above will be head of the household for issue of ration card, and if not available, the eldest male member is to be the head of the household.

    (*) Grievance redressal mechanism at district level

    There will be state and district level redressal mechanism with designated officers. The States will be allowed to use the existing machinery for District Grievance Redressal Officer (DGRO), State Food Commission, if they so desire, to save expenditure on establishment of new redressal set up. Redressal mechanism may also include call centers, helpline etc.

    (*) Social audits and vigilance committees to ensure transparency and accountability

    Provisions have also been made for disclosure of records relating to PDS, social audits and setting up of Vigilance Committees in order to ensure transparency and accountability.

    (*) Penalty for non compliance

    The Bill provides for penalty to be imposed on public servants or authority, if found guilty of failing to comply with the relief recommended by the District Grievance Redressal Officer (DGRO).

    (*) Expenditure

    At the proposed coverage of entitlement, total estimated annual foodgrains requirement is 612.3 lakh tons and corresponding estimated food subsidy for 2013-14 costs is about Rs.1,24,724 crore.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Source : AIR
    2017--> 8th attempt
  • We know about the broad benefits now. Let's discuss the economic effects (especially the negatives - for the sake of critical analysis and figuring out the scope for improvements) of "the world's largest food security programme."

    1. Right to grains for 2/3rd of the country.

    a. Should have a dramatic effect on the malnutrition rates. Of course, it only provides a staple but unbalanced diet. It is expected that people would buy fruits and vegetables with the freed up income (how so ever ridiculously impossible that might be at current prices.) Here lies the importance of the APMC Act.

    b. Cash benefits for failure to deliver, etc should be a good idea. But the value of a rupee scarcely remains the same at 10+% inflation. Need to scale up the cash to beat inflation.

    c. It would only add to the inflation of non-grain foodstuff while causing a deflation for grains. Government would pay a higher MSP than market rate (possibly) and may not be able to procure all of the grain. Storage is another issue (being upgraded).

    2. Exchequer would have a minor heart attack. Budget would need more cash. Taxes might be raised. Tax collection needs to be made more efficient and broad-based.


    3. Freeing up money that was earlier spent on food:

    a. More demand and consumption of non-grain food stuff. Leading to rise in prices thereby making them unaffordable to the poor again unless supply catches up to the demand. More production and procurement of these are planned.

    b. More spending on education (assuming free healthcare is a ground reality in the area).

    c. "Slight risk" of increasing waste spending (tobacco, alcohol, drugs, gambling).
    Prelims : 2/5; Mains : 0/2; Interview : 0; Remainder : 1+1 (Tired but not; Retired) / Medical Science / Kolkata / Nihilist extraordinaire | Thanks a lot...
  • Could not correct errors in last post. Ran out of time. Corrected post:

    We know about the broad benefits now. Let's discuss the economic effects (especially the negatives - for the sake of critical analysis and figuring out the scope for improvements) of "the world's largest food security programme."

    1. Right to grains for 2/3rd of the country.

    a. Should have a dramatic effect on the malnutrition rates. Of course, it only provides a staple and is an unbalanced diet. It is expected that people would buy fruits and vegetables with the freed up income (how so ever ridiculously impossible that might be at current prices.) Here lies the importance of the APMC Act.

    b. Cash benefits for failure to deliver, etc should be a good idea. But the value of a rupee scarcely remains the same at 10+% inflation. Need to scale up the cash to beat inflation.

    c. It would only add to the inflation of non-grain foodstuff while causing a deflation for grains. Government would pay a higher MSP than market rate (possibly) and may not be able to procure all of the grain, especially during bumper harvests. Poverty amidst plenty might perpetuate. Storage is another issue - no point giving food security to rats (being upgraded). Rising inflation to choke the middle-class even further while raising the financial burden on the government. If things go out of hand, the law could amended to target abject poverty alone - ie. cutting back.

    2. Exchequer would have a minor heart attack. Budget would need more cash. Taxes might be raised. Tax collection needs to be made more efficient and broad-based. Agricultural income of the super-rich needs to be taxed.


    3. Freeing up money that was earlier spent on food:

    a. More demand and consumption of non-grain food stuff. Leading to rise in prices thereby making them unaffordable to the poor again unless supply catches up to the demand. More production and procurement of these are planned. Food inflation is only going to get worse, especially if the monsoon is less/more than generous.

    b. More spending on education by poor households (assuming free healthcare is a ground reality in the area).

    c. "Slight risk" of increasing waste spending (tobacco, alcohol, drugs, gambling).

    d. Higher spending and demand for FMCG, clothing, etc to benefit the economy.

    e. Rising productivity due to better nutrition and rising skills due to better education should boost the demand for jobs in the long run (long shot, I know). Job creation needs to be looked at seriously.
    Prelims : 2/5; Mains : 0/2; Interview : 0; Remainder : 1+1 (Tired but not; Retired) / Medical Science / Kolkata / Nihilist extraordinaire | Thanks a lot...
  • edited July 2013
    tidbit
    rs 1,24,724 cr
    will be the govt. food subsidy bill in a year(at 2013-2014 costs)
    source:ET
    You may be a king or a little street sweeper,but sooner or later you dance with the reaper!
  • edited August 2013
    http://econ.st/1dkwSvD
    Short video by economist on food security!
  • http://econ.st/1dkwSvD
    Short video by economist on food security!
    I thought you were in support of the food security bill brought in by the government.

    P.S : I told you that the economy will get distorted with the coming of the bill. If i remember right , you said that it won't happen (ambivalence debate). Have a look at the markets today.
  • http://econ.st/1dkwSvD
    Short video by economist on food security!
    I thought you were in support of the food security bill brought in by the government.

    P.S : I told you that the economy will get distorted with the coming of the bill. If i remember right , you said that it won't happen (ambivalence debate). Have a look at the markets today.
    Haha! Will be too naive to say that markets plummeted because of Food Security Bill.

    Just to correct you - I said, I am in no position right now to foresee the impact of FSB - My aim is to provide food to all - Whatever fail proof, leakage proof mechanism or delivery system we can design - We must do that. The fear of failure should not result in complete dilution of our goal of 0 hunger. Not having a robust PDS is not an excuse to let people die of hunger, we must strive to develop innovative alternate solutions and find out more efficient delivery mechanisms.

    Moreover, I remember we were not debating on FSB per se but on your claim that providing free or subsidized food will make a worker lazy and there will be no motive for him to work. Which I strongly disagree with. I made my arguments in that thread and made my stand clear on this.
  • @Partho I'm not saying that the markets plummeted only because of the food bill. The food bill does have an impact . It could have been tabled at a more suitable time. Fear of increase in fiscal deficit can have an impact on markets.

    And i still continue with my stand that it is better to create jobs than to provide food . ( The fish proverb :P).

    Could you or someone else please list the pros of the FSB. For answer writing, i can think of more cons than pros.
  • edited August 2013


    And i still continue with my stand that it is better to create jobs than to provide food . ( The fish proverb :P).

    I totally agree with you here. But I think I already said this before, some short term measures have to be taken till we create jobs. It will be too much for a hungry person to learn fishing first, then catch some fish, cook them and then eat it. Before doing this, he would probably be dead. So we need to give him some food along with creating job opportunities and then gradually move towards a market economy from a mixed economy. We can have an efficient market economy only when we become a developed nation.

    Pros:

    1. More procurement by FCI, more farmers will get MSP.
    2. 75% villagers will get subsidized food.
    3. Pregnant women and lactating mothers will get maternity benefit of Rs. 6000 besides nutritious food.
    4. Children below 14 years of age will get food with higher nutritional norms.
    5. Increased role for Panchayati Raj institutions and women’s self help groups in programme-monitoring and social auditing. This will lead to more devolution of funds, functions and functionaries.
    6. There will be provision for internal grievance redressal mechanism including call centres and helplines; and District Grievance Redressal Officers and State Food Commission for expeditious and effective relief to the people.
    7. Will also provide food security to our farmers during lean season and in case of crop failure or bad monsoon.
    8. Guarantees supplementary nutrition services through anganwadis for all children under six.
    9. Per capita approach has inherent benefits*.

    I am sure there are many more - Will have to think. :P (Cons - You know many. ;) )
  • edited August 2013
    @Partho Thanks . :)

    Few points from my side:

    1) Just read this some time back : http://ibnlive.in.com/blogs/vivianfernandes/1878/64793/food-security-bill-will-damage-agriculture-if-it-thwarts-peoples-enterprise.html So is your 1st pro really a pro?

    2) This is the scheme! Can you call it a pro?

    3) Aren't there schemes like JSY and JSSY to help pregnant women?

    4) Is this about improving MDM?

    5) and 6) Fine

    7) Not food security but cash transfer!

    8) Fine but they should have provided nutritional support to all.

    9) Although this is done with the right motive , there is one major flaw in this. It encourages population growth in an already over populated country!


    P.S : I got another argument for the "laziness " factor. Just like reservation , once a person gets some benefit , he/she would not like to let go of it! Eg: MSME's dont want to grow out of their sector because they will loose their benefits ( I may be generalizing here )

  • Apart from the cons that you have mentioned - Pick up any article of The Hindu on FSB - You will find many more.

    :P

    I am sorry, if you where looking for some debate here, I am not the right person for it. I just mentioned the pros because you wanted some points for answer writing. :) If you think FSB is bad - So be it. You don't have to mentions the positives in your answer at all - Just sound convincing to the examiner and you will be rewarded. :)
  • @Partho Not looking for a debate. Thank you for the pros.
  • i guess the burden part is overstated ..... http://ideasforindia.in/article.aspx?article_id=181
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