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Current Position:Home » News » Law & Regulation » India Food Regulations » Topic

Food Security Bill, in current form, does not have universal appeal

Zoom in font  Zoom out font Published: 2012-05-26  Origin: PTI  Views: 134
Core Tip: Madhura Swaminathan, economist, said the UPA government's flagship Food Security Bill should have a universal appeal as any targeted selection would lead to complications in picking beneficiaries in a big country like India.
The Indian Statistical Institute (Kolkata) professor, whose research interests fall in the area of food security, agriculture and rural development, said, "The draft Bill, as envisaged currently, will exclude a huge segment of the population."

"Experience shows that in any targeted scheme a significant segment of the extremely poor and vulnerable part gets deprived," she added during an event organised by the Northeast Action Group.

Swaminathan, who is also a member of the Central Government's expert committee on long-term grain policy, said a selective subsidy scheme is feasible only when the targeted segment is small.

"The government is giving the example of Mexico and Brazil to argue for cash transfer to the targeted segments. But while the level of malnourishment among children is 5-6 per cent in Mexico and Brazil, it is 46 per cent in India. With such a huge sample, how do you ensure that none of the poor families are left out," she said. 

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