25 October 2010

Government - do they know what is their task ?

More and more food-grain is rotting while the waste the time. The high corridors of the nation are abuzz with talk about how much food should be given to the country’s poor as a right. Should it be 25 kg of rice or 35 kg of wheat a month per person at highly subsidized rates? Then they worry who should get this right to food. All who are poor, the very poor or the poor but not so very poor? This haggle over the below poverty line (BPL) and above poverty line (APL) seems to miss two crucial points. One, that the government does not know how to enumerate its people in terms of poverty. Two, there is no fixed and absolute line dividing the poor and not-poor. Subsistence economy of the poor is such that they are always at the risk of slipping down the poverty curve. One failed monsoon or crop, or one episode of illness in the family could dictate the difference between APL and BPL.
Even as economists and policy wonks are busy haggling, a huge amount of food is rotting in the country. Some 18 million tonnes of food grains are lying in the open or kept without adequate protection just because the government does not have storage facilities. Worse, a large number of people are going to bed hungry because the food, which
is in the hands of their government, is not reaching their homes. Everybody agrees that the public distribution system is not working. It is badly broken.

Isn't it time for people to take charge of the Nation from the hands of the mafia that's ruining it ?

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