- Start food for work, specially construction work, all over India.
- Wherever PDS works well, let it accept food stamps. But free internal trade to beat corruption.
- The long-term solution is only to decentralise procurement operations.
What should be done? Export is a poor option as the government has been able to firm up contracts for about 5 mt of wheat and that too at half the economic cost of Rs 8 a kg. In any case, world markets are depressed and it does seem paradoxical that a poor country should subsidise consumers of other countries. More important, India is not a known supplier of wheat in the world market and it may be difficult to meet future contracts.
A more reasonable option is food for work, particularly construction work, around the country. In areas where the PDS is known to work quite well (e.g. Tamil Nadu, Andhra, Karnataka, Kerala, West Bengal) the food stamps may be exchanged at...