OPINION: Food Security Act: A Disaster in the Making

The current UPA government wants to make another scheme for the so called poor people, which is in the form of Food Security Act. This act UPA government is planning to present in upcoming budget session in the parliament.

It’s a very ambitious call by the UPA chairman, Sonia Gandhi. But regarding this new act, I have a strong doubt on their vision, mission, objectives and goals.

The Food Security Act is a unique act which will work as the cash cow for the government and its allies in power. The UPA government wants to allocate a whopping Rs. 300000 crores in the budget for this act; one can only wonder where will this huge amount of money will go.

Further, the UPA government wants the poor to be able to have wheat at Rs. 2 per kilogram and rice at Rs. 3 per kilogram. There is no emphasis on the poor people’s nutrition need. Simply providing them with wheat and rice does not mean that a poor person will get a nutritious diet.

I believe government should provide the poor with “Nutrition Security” not the security of wheat and rice only.

Nutritions contains balance amount of protein, carbohydrate, fat etc, by providing items likes pulses, vegetables etc., which is simply missing in the Food Security Act. So one can easily guess the intention behind this act. The intention is only to enrich the politicians, bureaucrats and such by the public money.

On the first look, according to prevailing conditions and present corruption level one can only laugh at this intention. If government take this practically and honestly to provide nutrition security, then it will find it impossible to have adequate funds to implement the nutrition security.

Some time ago I had read an interview by one of the member of the National Advisory Council in the Times of India newspaper; this gentleman was speaking regarding social schemes formulated by the UPA government, his answer had shocked me a lot. He had said, “Government don’t want to spent any money on the audit of the poverty allocation and social programs, even the government is unwilling to spent even a single crore to audit and control the schemes which employs massive amount of money and infrasture like MNREGA.”

So that’s the real face of the government which wants to allocate lakhs of crores to the new schemes like Food Security Act and not want to allocate any resource to audit,control and manage it. So we all have to ask the government what is this amount of money which will be set aside to manage and audit the new cash generation scheme which politicians call Food Security Act.

I am almost sure the UPA goverment will not set aside a singe penny to manage this Rs. 300000 crore scheme. One can wonder what will happen to the Food Security Act. I believe the entire food meant for the poor will be diverted towards the black-market. The black marketers are delighted by this Food Security Act and lobbying greatly for this Food Security Act.

So one can wonder who is pushing this act aggressively in the name of the poor. The government want this act to be implemented by the way of Public Distribution System (PDS), which itself is faulty and does not serve its purpose; nowadays it is finished and does not exist.

So we all can guess for whom this food security act is meant for. It is meant for banks accounts in tax heavens like Switzerland, the Cayman Islands etc of politicians.

As revealed by the recent 2G spectrum scam, the average commission a politician takes for implementing any scheme vary from 15% to 35%. So a scam bigger than the 2G spectrum is likely in the making. It means around 1 lakhs crore of the amount of the food security act is meant for the politicians Swiss bank accounts and the rest for the babus and officers will take, and in the end, the poor Indian will get…, yes my dear friends you are right, will get nothing.

So the real beneficiaries of the food security act is not the poor but the greedy politicians and their Swiss bank accounts.

The solution to this is to give direct cash transfer into the hands of the poor. This can only be possible if the drive to connect the poor with the banking system will be taken aggressively and to completely dissolve and abolish the PDS system, which in today’s time doesn’t have any meaning and has no use.

The solution to problem of hunger is not to bring the Food Security Act; however, it is to empower the poor and make them self-dependent.

Currently, our production rate per hectare is very low, the same hectare of the land produces six times more wheat in Australia as compared to India. So we need to work upon this and have to find new ways to increase the productivity of the agriculture sector.

[Naveen Kumar Sharma is a postgraduate student in the Department of Commerce and Business Studies. He can be reached via email at: neo.abm[at]gmail.com]

About Naveen K. Sharma

Naveen Kumar Sharma is a postgraduate student in the Department of Commerce and Business Studies. He can be reached via email at: [email protected]

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  1. Well said, Naveen!
    Your apprehensions are correct. You addressed the worries like nutrition, corruption, PDS and productivity in a right manner.
    But, you are extremely pessimistic about the working of government. Take for example, nutrients. Here, your argument is that wheat(& rice) don’t give nutrients. Please note that most of them even don’t have wheat(& rice), they are starving and need two square meals a day. Let’s achieve that first and save their lives, then we can make them healthy. Things always happen in a gradual manner.
    About corruption, it is a universal problem. Every party is corrupt. But, we can’t condemn every act by saying that “it involves a huge amount of money, so most of the money will go in official’s pocket”. Corruption is not one sided, if you don’t give bribe and also expose the corrupt person, corruption will go down gradually.
    About the cash transfers, Mr. Pranab Mukherjee has made a provison in the budget and we will see it soon. I hope the implementation and the required infrastructure will be in place soon.

    Keep writing and B+

  2. well written Naveen, but the direct cash transfer to the hands of poor is not the proper way to stabalize, that’s not even the last resort .http://bit.ly/gb7cEz Reuters: FAO food price index hits record high in February | But our Sharad Pawar sleeps!Any other country with such a profound competitive advantage in Agriculture & cheap labor would be girding up it’s Agriculture sector..Far from look at this as an opportunity of a life time our small minded civil servants & politicians are smug that we can pull through..And my friend our patriotic brigade never tires of shouting itself hoarse about our fabled but largely mythical entrepreneurship! Where is it?Agricultural reforms, the basic step for next generation of economic reforms, don’t even figure on any political party’s agenda!Imagine our Agriculture, huge labor force, a hungry world & 30 year high food prices likely to stay that way! Is it freaking rocket science?why youth not Engaging in the agriculture is the Agricultural sector only meant for the lower classes people? If there are some sensible people ruling we must create, a separate forum, media needs to take part actively and tax exemptions should be given to those business houses who are on the deck of agriculture..

  3. So far as upa govt. is concerned,dere r many loopholes here…bt it is not about upa govt.it is about corruption..even d opposition i.e NDA is a bigger corrupt..so we shud hav patience ..v shud support govt…..v all shud cum 4ward n join politics…all v can do is dat v can protest against d corrupt leaders…eradication of corrupt leaders 4m UPA WUD B A BETTER SOLUTION……
    appreciable step by u ..v all r agree wid u……..nycly covered all the relevant areas….

  4. Naveen K Sharma

    I need to tell @ khan,, that politics is a big business, to join it we need to infuse big capital in it. If u posses this capital than u can join it, but we and all others don’t possesses the huge amount of money that been required to join the politics.
    Just like fusion of honey is impossible with out the bee just like that politics is incomplete without corruption.
    So tell @ khan how u can manage the honey without the bee?

  5. Really an eye opener we have to think collectively for these type of actons on it. After all government is fr us and we are not for the government. they should also be accountable to general public.

  6. @shahnawaz khan : how you say NDA is the bigger corrupt than UPA? NDA was in power for not even a decade, while the country knows well about the congress corruption. the biggest problem in our country is that a government is never formed independent ! and the support is always harmful !:)

  7. Naveen, its well written, I mean Ur article but giving the poor people also does not solve the problem ‘coz many of them will squander it on vices. The solution is good governance & enforcement of regulations passed. and transparent accopunting of funds allocated not merely lip service as has been done for past 60 + years.

    Shahnawaz’s advice seems a bit too far-fetched.

  8. Thanks Himanshu,shabab and Shushma madam for ur valuable comments. U all was very well in your opinion. I hope the goverment will see this and implement the changes that is required most.


  9. Thnaks also mr. Vijay for ur valuable feedback.
    The comment of ur on regarding the nutrition is good. But as we have the right for the nutritious diet as also poor also have the right to have the nutrition full food. Poor people are human beings they need the right diet in order to be productive and to be hard working, as it is poor farmers that feed the 1 billion plus population of our country.

  10. How does one go about opening a Swiss bank Acc? And what does their “don’t ask don’t tell” policy entails. ;)

  11. Man its really an enlightning and a blunt article and gives a lot of insight into how the govt. actually is making jokes after Jokes………It has to end….

  12. Thanks Arpan for reading and giving your valuable feedback on the article.

  13. Dear Naveen I will sure give u comments on this article when u meet me some time, All the best for ur studies.

  14. Naveen K Sharma

    Thanks Devender sir for reading the article.

  15. well said naveen ……….
    Ur article is very powerful abt those ppl who can not afford basic needs in the life ……this is just like a g8 example of poor ppls ……..
    i appreciate ur article …..

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