Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Food Security Bill: Links

The current debate in parliament over the food security bill is currently in a stalemate. A quick recap of the features of this bill which proposes food subsidies to two-thirds of India's population, a staggering 800 million people, can be found here.
(P.S. It gives a good handle on numbers, without any distractions of a logical debate which is anyways beyond the regime of reporting style of NDTV severely cramped by their congress-blind mypoic hogwash).

Why the proposed bill compounds the problem, instead of solving it, especially in the Indian set up is well-articulated by Vivek Dehejia, an economics professor at Carleton University in Canada in his recent article in business standard. He argues

"...no (such) defence exists for supporting an expansion of the provision of subsidised food through the inefficient and corruption-prone public distribution system (PDS). A widening food entitlement under the notoriously leaky PDS, rather than through direct cash transfers, is self-evidently a giant step backward in rationalising the provision of public goods and services to the poor and disadvantaged."