Why We Need National Food Security Bill, 2013

Just read an article here in PaGaLGuY about why the food security bill doesn’t make sense . And its not just this one article ; the internet is getting filled up with many such arguments ever since the bill was passed. Lets look at these arguments one by one:

1)Rs 125000-150000 crores! – The alleged cost of implementing the bill. Where will this come from ? There is no definite answer to this. But just to remind you guys that our Fuel Subsidy Bill is round about the same, if not more. So when we make this “Cost” argument what we are saying is that we as a nation have the money to subsidise fuel so that lower-middle-class people can travel to work, paying low fares, middle-class people can take the AC Volvo bus to work, upper-middle class people can drive a car, and the rich have multiple personal automobiles. And not to mention the food transportation cost and hence the food cost remains low for these same group of people. But we don’t have the money to feed our poor people and fellow Indians who are below the poverty line! And we aspire to be a super-power in the near future. I think any cost is justifiable in order to ensure that no Indian goes to bed hungry!

No Infrastructure to support the Scheme – And the inherent belief that half the allocated money will go into the pockets of babus and politicians. Well of course it would be naive to assume that every single bit of the money will actually go to the intended group. But should we stop doing what is right just for the fear of corruption ? Just look at the mid-day meal scheme. Inspite of such enormous level of corruption it is highly successful. And the success of this scheme goes on to prove that there is a genuine hunger problem. None of those poor parents care about sending their kids to school for education. They send them for food!

Politicians are just indulging in pro-poor schemes for votes – Yes they are. And Thank God for that! Isn’t this what democracy is all about ? The poor and the BPL people are facing an acute shortage of representation in the popular culture. They can’t voice their opinions in prime-time debate shows neither can they voice their anger and frustration in blogs and social networking sites! This is exactly what our fore-fathers had anticipated when they drafted the Constitution some 66 years ago! That is why vote bank politics is the necessary evil in 21st century India.

P.S. :- I am an MBA aspirant, have left my previous job to prepare for CAT. I am equally worried about the economy and drop in post-MBA salaries. But I cannot bring myself to justify opposition to NFSB based on the argument that it will be a burden on the economy!

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