My editorial cartoon of the week – EToW2, is not criticizing the significance or the usefulness of the Food Security Bill, but UPA’s opportune and well-timed launch of this bill right before the 2014 elections. Moreover, launching this bill of such magnitude (1.25 Lakhs crores) doesn’t go well with the current economic scenario. I understand that it isn’t fair to mock FSB right at the starting point, but the hurry with which this mega program was passed by the government without having a strict & effective implementation system in place, makes it obvious that the whole thing is a political play. Now, the government is planning to use the existing PDS – Public distribution system for delivering the subsidized grains to the poor. The current PDS is known for its leakage, which is close to 50% of the total food delivery planned. Without fixing these leakages, launching such a huge program will only ensure the corrupt officials continue to sell more grains in the open market at a higher price.
Sustainability of the program is also not considered. Considering the current fiscal deficit and the impact of such a huge food subsidy on our GDP, the government should concentrate on stabilizing the economy first. Meanwhile, the time can be utilized to correct the flaws and design a fool-proof & corruption free implementation mechanism.
Without considering these necessary preparatory steps, the rush and hurriedness in launching the food subsidy bill of such magnitude that’d impact every citizen of the country – poor, middle-class or rich, clearly indicates the narrow vision of our government. The editorial cartoon is an attempt to ridicule this inappropriate timing of the Food Security Bill launch targeting the 2014 elections and not the merit of the bill itself. Hope you enjoy the sketch!
Common Man vs Food security Bill – by Vignesh Rajan