The National Food Security Bill (NFSB) 2013, proposed by the UPA government has been approved in the Lok Sabha finally. This bill will become a reality when the Rajya Sabha approves it. So as of now the bill is on its way to the Rajya Sabha.
However, its journey hasn’t been smooth so far. There were massive uproars from the opposition demanding amendments to the bill. They made the parliament house look like a vegetable market.
Even after that not many Indians seem to be happy with the clauses of the bill.
However, I for one think otherwise; this bill is indeed a milestone. It’s easy for the people sitting with a pack of potato chips and drinks in their hands to think that this bill will soon turn into another scam or the Congress has done this only to increase their chances in the 2014 general elections.
Do you know that the bill aims to provide food to 810 million people who form for 75 percent of the rural population and 50 percent of the urban population?
It also claims to provide 5 kg of rice, wheat and coarse cereals to each and every individual, every month at a price of 3 rupees, 2 rupees and 1 rupee per kg, respectively. This would help reduce malnutrition as more than 47 percent of Indian children suffer from malnourishment. This clause will also improve India’s ranking in the Global Hunger Index. According to the Global Hunger report of 2012, India ranked 65out of the 79 countries.
The NFSB will also help in empowering women. According to Chapter VIII of the bill, the eldest woman of every eligible family will be the head of the family especially when it comes to issuing a ration card.
The bill also states that there will be a grievance redressal mechanism which will help the families that have been declined food grains.
There will be doorstep delivery of food grains at the targeted Public Distribution System (PDS) outlets. And food allowance would be given to those people for whom food grains were not available. There are many such clauses in the bill which you can read here.
One thing is clear that if the NFSB is passed it is sure to help the destitutes, as they would be able to spend their money on other things apart from food.
Congress has been in the news for various scams but they have also implemented schemes like the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) and the Loan Waiver Scheme.
Its not easy to say if the Food Security Bill will help Congress win the next elections, but I think that this bill does help the poor indeed. So lets just wait and see what happens in the Rajya Sabha.
Image Source [http://blogs/india/files/2013/07/wheat2.jpg]