A common man’s view on the Food Bill
January 17, 2012
It’s in news. It tops the google trend’s most searched keywords list for India. How on Earth can I oppose such bill? It’ll be inhumane to refuse food to the ones who are needy. And believe me, I’ll never ever oppose any scheme that ensures the end of malnutrition in India. But, does the bill cleared by the cabinet ensures that? or is it just another feel good factor (necessarily, tends to be practically ineffective) to gain political advantage?
Well, my poor common sense says that it’s an irresponsible move to gain popularity. I’m saying this because, I do not think that homework has been done to implement this properly. I’ve not come to know about any major move to increase agriculture productivity in last 5 years at least. The first 2.5 years of which, I’ve spent in an industry directly related to agriculture. I really do not remember any special act or bill being passed to enhance agri industry. The only major decision related to agriculture was the loan waiver. That was a popularistic decision which harmed the economy of the nation (as it harmed the banks) and other industries related to agriculture. Imagine the Govt. forcing you to give loan to someone and then again forcing you not to collect it! Aren’t we forgetting the fact that schemes of these type, make beggar out of poor.
Projects like this need financers. And who will finance this whole project? Why will anyone invest when they know that it’s not going to give any return? Taxpayer’s money? I’d rather say, please use my money on research, education or in establishing industry or improving basic infrastructure. This will, help us increase productivity and reduce unemployment and in turn poverty & malnutrition.
And if they are using money from worldbank etc., my question to my Govt. is that who has given them permission to use borrowed money for pseudo charity? Who will be responsible to repay the debt they are inviting. I’m not saying that don’t feed the poor. I’m asking that why are we focussing on feeding the unemployed rather than creating opportunities of employment.
The next important factor is the effectiveness of schemes launched. For eg. ‘Rashtriya Gramin Rojgar Yojana’ was a major effort. But, may I ask, how much effective has it been? How effective will the scheme be? I’m not sure, how many of you closely know the situation of Govt. distribution network in rural India. I can assure you, people from well to do families hold BPL card, use ration card and also claim from from Prime Minister rojgar yojana. This is not unknow. This is not new. Moreover, since the Govt. could not create enough opportunities, they preffered to replace machines by human labour to enhance the figure in the scheme.
Midday meal scheme was started with somewhat similar aim. All of us reading this are very well aware of the meal that is served and how effective and efficient the whole project is. If you say it is running well, then I’d request you to come out of your comfortable air conditioned chamber and peek into rural India for a change. Esp. if you are among the policymakers.
I’m very much sure that most of the money spent on this project will not go for the actual purpose, but will fill up the pockets of implementors. I sincerely and wholeheartedly, oppose this bill and strongly feel that this is just another political tool to attract voters. And unfortunately, they will be able to do so, as well.
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