National Food Security Bill


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National Food Security Bill (NFSB)- Will it make the Dream of a Hunger-Free India into a Reality?

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  • WadhwaCommittee recommendations
  • National Food Security Bill

    1. 1. NATIONAL FOOD SECURITY BILL Will it make the Dream of a Hunger-Free India into a Reality?
    2. 2. WHAT IS FOOD SECURITY? WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (WHO) Food Availability - Having available sufficient quantities of food on a consistent basis Food Access - Having sufficient resources, both economic & physical, to obtain appropriate foods for a nutritious diet Food Use - Appropriate use based on knowledge of basic nutrition and care, as well as adequate water and sanitation FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION (FAO) Definition - Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life Components - Availability, Access, and Absorption (nutrition)
    3. 3. GLOBAL SCENARIO Globally, per capita annual availability of grain has declined between the 1970s and the 2000s. 34% (1969-71) 16% (2004-06) 20% (2009) Proportion of undernourished in the developing world… Liberalization Policies in Third World Decline in rate of growth of output of grain & oilseeds since 1990 Output growth rate 2.2% pa (1970-90) 1.3% pa (1990-07) Yield growth rate 2% pa (1970-90) 1.1% pa (1990-07)
    4. 4. INDIAN SCENARIO Amartya Sen‘s ―Poverty & Famines‖ Major problems - unemployment, declining wages, and poor food distribution systems International Food Policy Research Institute‘s 2011 Global Hunger Index 60 million children – Underweight 21% population - Malnourished World Bank Report Productivity losses in India due to stunted growth, iodine deficiencies, and iron deficiencies – 3% of GDP Net Availability of Food Grains 1961 – 469 gms/day 2007 – 443 gms/day Per Capita Availability 1991 – 501 gms 2007 – 443 gms GDP growth 1992-92 (6-7%) 2005-06 (9%) Child Malnutrition 1998-99 (52%) 2005-06 (46%) Underweight Children 1998-99 (47%) 2005-06 (46%)
    5. 5. NUTRITION EMERGENCY Dissociation between GDP growth and changes in the status of malnutrition is due to distribution problem, as the wealth created is unequally shared Significant increase in food grains has not been able to keep pace with the increase in population.
    6. 6. 2010 GLOBAL HUNGER INDEX – INDIA’S POSITION A Trivia: In a remote hamlet of Uttar Pradesh, Musahar women follow field rats to their burrows to scrape out grains stashed away by the rodents. When things get worse, they sift through cow dung for undigested grain—all this to feed their starving families. - Ash in the Belly: India’s Unfinished Battle against Hunger, Harsh Mander
    7. 7. WHERE DOES INDIA STAND? Proportion of undernourished in the population (%) Prevalence of underweight in children under five years (%) Under five mortality rate (%) GHI Country 1990-92 2004-06 1988-92 2003-08 1990 2008 1990 (with data from 1988-92) 2010 (with data from 2003-08) Bangladesh 36.0 26.0 56.5 41.3 14.9 5.4 35.8 24.2 China 15.0 10.0 15.3 6.0 4.6 2.1 11.6 6.0 Haiti 63.0 58.0 22.5 18.9 15.1 7.2 33.5 28.0 India 24.0 22.0 59.5 43.5 11.6 6.9 31.7 24.1 Nepal 21.0 16.0 47.2 38.8 14.2 5.1 27.5 20.0 Pakistan 22.0 23.0 39.0 25.3 13.0 8.9 24.7 19.1 Somalia - - - 32.8 20.0 20.0 - -
    8. 8. URBAN POVERTY • Every seventh person in urban India a slum dweller • Increase in Urban Inequality National Sample Survey 2002 • Rate of reduction in poverty slowed down since 1991 • Significant in urban areas Official poverty count • 7.63 crores in 1993-94 • 8.08 crores in 2004-05 Urban BPL • 320.3 million in 1993-94 • 301.7 million in 2004-05 Poverty in India • Hazardous living conditions • Absorption of nutrients • 30% higher costs of food than rural poor • 60% more of total expenditure on food Other issues
    10. 10. INTERNATIONAL NORMS ON FOOD SECURITY • The Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, Article 25(1): ―Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well- being of himself and his family, including food . . . .― • International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights 1976: ―Right of everyone to an adequate standard of living, including adequate food, clothing, and housing…‖ and ―the fundamental right of everyone to be free from hunger . . .‖ • Convention on the Rights of the Child 1990: ―To combat disease and malnutrition . . . . through the provision of adequate nutritious foods, clean drinking water, and health care‖ • General Comment 12 (Twentieth session, 1999) of UN: The Right to Adequate Food (Art. 11)
    11. 11. FOOD SECURITY NORMS IN INDIA The Supreme Court Case (April 16, 2001) - People Union for Civil Liberties(Rajasthan) submitted a ―writ petition‖: • Starvation deaths becoming National Phenomenon while there is surplus stock of food grains in government godowns .Does right to life mean that people who are starving are too poor to buy food grains free of cost by State from the surplus stock lying with the State particularly when it is lying unused and rotting? • Does not the right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution of India include the right to food? • Does not the right to food which has been upheld by the apex Court imply that the State has a duty to provide food especially in situations of drought to people who are drought effected and are not in a position to purchase food? In 2001, during a visit to Jaipur it was observed that 5 kms outside the city, Food Corporation of India (FCI) godowns were overflowing with grains kept outside. Fermented by rain, it was rotting. 5 kms from the godowns was a village where the people were eating in rotation, classically called ―rotation eating‖ where some members of the family eat on one day and the remaining persons eat on the other day. In 2001, 60 million tonnes were in FCI godowns, whereas buffer stock required were 20 million tonnes. The Government had 40 million tonnes above the buffer stock and people were dying of starvation. On that simple proposition the PUCL in Rajasthan filed a case, which came to the Supreme Court.
    12. 12. • Court affirms the right to food as necessary to uphold Article 21 of the Constitution of India, which guarantees the fundamental right to ―life with human dignity‖ • Closed PDS shops to be re-opened within one week • Food Corporation of India (FCI) was ordered to prevent wastage • States given the responsibility over implementation of schemes – Employment Assurance Scheme – Mid-day Meal Scheme – Integrated Child Development Scheme – National Benefit Maternity Scheme for BPL pregnant women – National Old Age Pension Scheme - destitute persons over 65 years – Annapurna Scheme – Antyodaya Anna Yojana – National Family Benefit Scheme – Public Distribution Scheme for BPL & APL families FOOD SECURITY NORMS IN INDIA
    13. 13. PROGRESS SO FAR 2001: Constitutional Court recognizes right to food in the People‘s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) case, transforming policy choices into enforceable rights 2005 : Adopts its National Rural Employment Guarantee Act and the Right to Information Act 2009: India is developing a National Food Security Act 2011: Food Security Bill cleared by Cabinet January, 2013: NFSB cleared by a parliamentary committee
    14. 14. NATIONAL FOOD SECURITY BILL, 2011 SALIENT FEATURES A draft legislation to “provide for food and nutritional security, in human life cycle approach, by ensuring access to adequate quantity of quality food at affordable prices, for people to live a life with dignity and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto…” • Legal entitlement to food grains at subsidized prices under the Targeted PDS • Providing food grains at subsidised prices as under: Priority Households (more than 46% rural & 28% urban) General Households (less than 64% rural & 72% urban) Quantity 7 kg per person per month 4 kg per person per month Price Rice: Rs. 3/kg Wheat: Rs. 2/kg Millets: Re. 1/kg <=50% of Minimum Support Price (MPS) • Legal entitlements for child & maternal nutrition, destitute & other vulnerable groups • Reform of the Public Distribution System • Min. coverage, entitlement & price to remain unchanged till end of XII 5-year plan
    15. 15. IMPLEMENTING NFSB 2011 • District Grievance Redressal officer • State Food Security Commission • National Food Security Commission GRIEVANCE REDRESSAL MECHANISMS • Allocating food from central government pool to state governments ALLOCATION OF FOOD • Records maintained stringently and made public • Periodic social audit to be conducted • A vigilance committee to be set up TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY
    16. 16. ACHIEVING FOOD SECURITY THROUGH NFSB • Adequate quantity of quality food made available at subsidised prices • Coverage to – Destitute persons: >= 1 meal a day, free of charge – Homeless and other needy: affordable meals at community kitchens – Migrants and families: subsidies entitled – Emergency & Affected by disaster: 2 meals a day, free of charge – up to 3 months • Entitlement to equivalent amount of food security allowance (cash) in case of inability of government to provide food grains • Identifying targeted households – same target can be used for other welfare schemes • Extension to other essential commodities such as coarse grains, oil, pulses, etc. • Extension of Targeted PDS to cover entire population, as Universal PDS • Agrarian reforms; Improving procurement, storage & distribution mechanisms for food grains • Reform of the PDS and its extension • Provide universal access to: – Safe and adequate drinking water and sanitation – Health care • Nutritional, health and education support to all adolescent girls • Special nutritional support to persons with ailments such as HIV/AIDS, leprosy, TB etc.
    17. 17. RANGARAJAN COMMITTEE (EXPERT COUNCIL) Favours legal entitlement of subsidized food grains to the poor (BPL), but has rejected the NAC‘s recommendation that APL households be partially covered - not feasible at the current levels of grain production and procurement Entitled population: Defined as the percentage of population below the official poverty line + 10% of the BPL population (Using the Tendulkar poverty line – 46% rural & 28% urban population) Subsidized food grains to be restricted to the really needy - rest can be covered through an executive order with varying quantums, depending upon availability of food grains Grain requirement 74 million tonnes in final phase in 2014, while total availability with the government in 2011-12 and 2013-14 is likely to be 56.35 million tonnes and 57.61 million tonnes respectively, based on the current production and procurement trends – Not possible to implement Price of subsidized food grains for BPL might be linked to inflation and indexed to the Consumer Price Index, and the price at which wheat and rice was to be made available to APL might be linked to the minimum support price (MSP). Other welfare schemes which must also be treated as mandatory and buffer stock, there will be around 5.4 million tons of food grain which can be used for distribution to the remaining population at an issue price equal to MSP.
    18. 18. RECOMMENDATIONS BY EXPERT COUNCIL NAC Rangarajan Committee 1. Estimating food grain requirement Population projections by National Commission on Population for Oct 2010 Phase 1 – October 2011 Phase 2 – October 2013 2. Requirement of food grains Phase 1 - 54.04 mn tonnes Phase 2 - 58.58 mn tones (Off take: 95% BPL, 85% APL) Phase 1 - 58.76 mn tonnes Final phase - 63.98 mn tonnes (Off take considered to be 100%) 3. Estimating availability of food grains Have used current estimates by the Dept of Agriculture Have to use more conservative estimates, as highly dependent on rain and drought 4. Subsidy implications Estimated using current population estimates Will go higher - further increase in popln, costs of scaling up of procurement, warehouse facilities and buffer stock 5. Distribution PDS system Modified PDS as per Justice Wadhwa report, Food stamps/coupons, Smart cards
    19. 19. ARGUMENTS IN FAVOUR OF NFSB 1. Existence of famine – affected areas despite surplus population 2. Extremely low levels of nutrition and rising levels of poor as per statistics 3. Article 21 of the Indian Constitution – Fundamental Right to Life 4. Article 47 of the Directive Principles of State Policy – Public health as primary duty 5. India party to International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) MAJOR ARGUMENTS AGAINST NFSB 1. High costs in implementing a universal PDS 2. At Rs. 18 and Rs 14 per kg for rice & wheat, 20 crore card holders with overall ratio of 2:1 between rice and wheat, costs for 25Kgs of distribution - Rs. 82000 crore and for 35 Kgs, Rs. 150000 crore 3. Providing highly subsidized food distorts private markets – may lead to further inflation in prices of food grains 4. Possibility of act becoming another political largesse and a propaganda tool 5. Government should not determine the prices of private goods like food,instead take measures to augment the income levels of poor by increasing education and employment opportunities.
    20. 20. REFORMS IN PDS (PUBLIC DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM) • Consolidate existing guidelines, give them due publicity • Compress time involved in completion of the selection process from 56 to 42 days • Should be a resident of the concerned circle where the FPS is • Allot new vacancies for FPS to cooperative societies or women self help groups. APPOINTMENT OF DEALERS OF FAIR PRICE SHOPS (FPS) • Equal distribution of ration cards, End-to-end automated system to plug leakages • Incentives to FPS dealers to sell other commodities with SFAs like wheat & rice • Fixed Accountability for any delay in delivery of SFAs • For BPL category, door delivery of SFAs to the FPS by State govt. • Increase commission of FPS dealers VIABILITY OF FAIR PRICE SHOPS
    21. 21. REFORMS IN PDS (PUBLIC DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM) • Transportation of SFAs - handled by the state government • Net gain on transportation account – give to FPS dealers • E-banking for payment of cartage charges • GPS – To track trucks carrying SFAs TRANSPORTATION OF SPECIFIED FOOD ARTICLES UNDER PDS • Identify genuine beneficiaries under AAY/BPL • Increase income threshold of BPL: Rs. 24,200/- to Rs. 49,284/- • Remove/limit APL category -annual income Rs. 1 lakh • Clear delineation of functions of each position in PDS EFFECTIVE TARGETED PDS • Police department should be directed to act on complaints - Essential Commodities Act, 1955 • Fast Track Court for cases pertaining to violations - revoke FPS license • Make Fortified Atta available • Computerizing operations up to Go down level OTHER NOTABLE RECOMMENDATIONS
    22. 22. WOMEN SHGS RUNNING FPSWomen’s SHGs rnni ng  Fa r price sh op
    23. 23. EFFECTIVE PDS: CHHATTISGARH CASE COVERAGE UNDER PDS: • 70% of total population • 80% - 90% of the actual poor • Tribal & socially vulnerable populations • All parts of the state, including Internal Conflict ridden areas • In addition to BPL families, covers persons with disability, Old and destitute, Women headed households • Shield from food price rise by supplying 50% of staple cereal requirement • Includes oil, pulses in PDS WHAT WAS DIFFERENT ABOUT PDS? • Combining Integrated Child Development Services with PDS: malnutrition in children declined 54% to 38% • De-privatization of PDS shops • Shops owned by bodies like Gram Panchayats, Women‘s Self Help Groups and Forest Protection Committees employing tribals • Increase in commission of PDS shop owners: Rs 8 per quintal to Rs. 35 • Interest-free loans up to Rs. 75000 • Apart from BPL category, included the disabled, old, destitute & primary tribals
    24. 24. RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FOOD SECURITY 1. Alleviate the root cause, instead addressing only the symptoms - correct supply chain issues, which would increase availability of food while reducing costs 2. Revisions to FDI rules to start rapid improvement in the food supply chain due to influx in supply chain modernization techniques from foreign players like Wal-Mart 3. Avoid intervention into the food economy by government; rather develop infrastructure for agriculture to make rural poor self- sufficient 4. Strengthen the implementation of already existing alternate government schemes like NREGA
    25. 25. REFERENCES • Justice Wadhwa Committee report on Public Distribution System submitted in 2007 • The task of making the PDS work by Jean Dreze, Honorary Professor at the Delhi School of Economics, published in The Hindu on July 8, 2010 • Working Paper: RIGHT TO FOOD IN INDIA by S. Mahendra Dev, Centre for Economic and Social Studies • Systems of Public Food Distribution and Procurement of Rice: Experiences from Chhattisgarh state of India by Samir Garg • ‗How the PDS is Changing in Chhattisgarh‘, an article on ibnlive website • ‗Effective PDS tackles malnutrition in Chhattisgarh‘: Article by Ejaz Kaiser published in Hindustan Times Raipur on March 16, 2013 • Sharma, D. (2005). ‗Hold Economists Accountable too‘. India Together, 4 April. Available at: • Asian Development Bank (ADB) (2005). Key Indicators of Developing Asian and Pacific Countries, Manila: ADB • Khera, Reetika (2009): ―Right to Food Act: Beyond Cheap Promises‖, Economic& Political Weekly, Vol 44, No 29, 18 July, pp 40-44. • Dreze, Jean,Democracy and Right to food, Economic and Political Weekly, April 2004 • ‗The Human Right to Food in India‘, George Kent, University of Hawaii, March 12, 2002 • ‗Food Security in India: Performance, Challenges and Policies‘, September 2010, OIWPS - VII