This article is for discussion. These views are individual views and they can be contravened. Let us discuss and share our opinion with an utmost interest of the welfare of the Nation. (Allegations towards any political party or group are strictly prohibited).

National Food Security Bill, 2013

‘Don’t give them fish, but teach them to catch fish’ is a slogan for the development of poor and marginalised members of the society to develop a society from its root. It is completely true in case of India. India is a land of villages and villagers are dependent and they are mostly relied on domestic industries and home made goods. Ever since civilisation, Indians are very much relied on them.

In such circumstances, it’s not easy to shift the whole paradigm of village culture to the most developed culture in the name of development. There are circumstances where the rulers of the country either under democratic or aristocratic set up, have shown broad mindedness with pure selfless motive to improve the societal system with the use of proper methods and ways of development. But in these days, poverty of the people has become dice in the hands of either ruling or opposition to make them as their vote bank. Unless the exploited understands the motive behind the exploiter to introduce certain development measures the poor remains still in poverty and under exploitation. Today white collar exploitation is very much relevant. It shall be sunset when the exploited person understands the motive of the exploiter.

So keeping behind this idea in mind, I would request every reader and analysts, to read the National Food Security Bill, 2013 which the present Government is very much interested to introduce in the Parliament soon.

Brief note on the Bill could be- it has 15 Chapters consisting 50 sections and 3 schedules. Schedule first speaks about subsidised prices under targeted public distribution system, second schedule is about nutritional standards and third schedule is about provisions for advancing food security. The preamble of the Bill gives the objective of it. It says ‘to provide for food and nutritional security in human life cycle approach, by ensuring access to adequate quantity of quality food at affordable prices to people to live a life with dignity and for matters connected there with or incidental thereto’ .

Every bill when it is enacted, it shall present some aspects. Namely, the time of introduction of the Bill. In other words, every bill or amendments to the acts shall take place when the need arises. With regard to present bill, whether need arose at present? And secondly, whether the introduced bill sufficiently fulfils the objective of the introduction?

To the first question, I feel, it was not proper time to introduce the said bill, mainly because the present Central Government is counting its days to wind up its 5 years tenure within a few months. Secondly if the Government which introduced the bill fails to regain the power this bill shall be kept into the archives by giving reasons either it was not properly enacted or shortage of funds for the introduction of same.

For the second question, I feel, the introduced bill is not completely fulfilling the purpose of its introduction. This bill shall give mere fish rather than teaching people to catch fish. The reasons could be-

  • Firstly, anybody can do anything and everything to make wrong use of the bill namely, officers themselves can go wrong in distribution system, an affluent may avail the facility along with needy which defeats the very purpose of the bill and lays burden on the State exchequer unnecessarily.
  • Secondly rift may arise between the State and Central Government where there are rival parties in power and due to this rival State Government may fail to carry out its obligations as per the said bill. It is solely because of the primary responsibility lies on the State Government especially under section 15 of the Ordinance.
  • Thirdly, on the other hand it may make the family heads to shed off their responsibility of work and also may go the food grains directly from the receivers end to resale for the enjoyment of the family head for alcohol or any other misused purposes.
  • Fourthly, miss use of the facilities may seriously injure the welfare of the State as well as the economy of the Country in the long run.
  • Fifthly, these are schemes and these schemes shall prevail as long as the good will of the initiated Governments. They may collapse along with the Government which initiated such schemes.
  • Sixthly, such schemes have been introduced earlier also and failed to carry out due to various reasons. Though it seems to be a serious concern of the society but due to its implementation it shall have the fate like that of earlier schemes.

What is the alternative?

The real development consists in the development of the citizens in the holistic way. The Governments must think long standing plans along with these short term reliefs. These schemes shall empower the poor and marginalised people for the time being and makes them to stand on the same footings. Thus the Governments should think in the line of development of the poor in other fields and not only mere providing food material which lasts for short duration. Some of the suggestions are-

  • Empowerment of the domestic and small scale industries with attractive subsidies and loan facilities after analysing the capacity of the industrialist cum owner. Assistance in provision for better and competitive technology to compete them with the Multi National Companies or other foreign Companies.
  • Giving prominence to the farmers and other plantation growers with provision of various facilities to raise the yield of production and Government must provide encouragement with proper infrastructures beginning from production until its marketing, namely providing raw materials, modern technical assistance, and competitive price and so on. As a result state and centre need not depend on products outside India which suffice our needs by taking proper care for the production of it.
  • Sufficient encouragement for the innovation and development of Intellectual Property Rights. The innovator needs more encouragement and even needs stringent implementation of rules that are laid down under the various provisions of laws which protect our Intellectual Property Rights at the International Level. Government must take interest in protecting its innovator which in turn initiates the growth of the National Economy. India is naturally very productive and it can encourage and support to develop various geographical productions.
  • The State is facing lack of development of the tribal and remote villages due to its negligence. As a result, unemployment, nexalites and anti- social elements have become rampant. State exchequer is spent mostly to protect the heads of the State and to eradicate the menace of robbery, stealing and other anti- social elements. Instead of spending on such unnecessary and repairable menaces, Sate should concentrate on the genuine development of the remote areas and villages by providing necessary infrastructures. In return such menaces namely theft, robbery, nexalite problem and other anti- social elements automatically reduce and there shall be increase in the growth of the economy.


If every representative of the State and Centre thinks and acts for the betterment of the people, such mere short term schemes will not exist. These schemes, even if they are introduced with genuine interest, they do not yield fruit or serve the ultimate purpose due to its negative impact.

People need holistic development and not mere short term facilities. These short term schemes are rubbing honey to the nose, where poor and marginalised people are made habitually depend on these and not for their total development. If one looks at the welfare of the country in a broader way, will go for the long term plans and build the nation and its economy. Therefore, such schemes are only an interim or provisional relief and not the final relief. But the fate is they become both interim and final reliefs at the same time.

Click here to view National Food Security Bill, 2013


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