01 November, 2020

The Food’s Off The Table

No steps to provide for the Food Security Bill

The Food’s Off The Table
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

It is disappointing that the government has not taken any steps to provide for the Food Security Bill, which is in Parliament, in this budget. A significant announcement on it was anticipated this year; that would have been the only way to see it roll out in 2012. Now, I think, the government must be bargaining for legal processes to take over, which we know will take some time, before it makes an allocation. That is disappointing—already the official allocation each year for food and public distribution is lower than required, and supplementary demands are raised later in the year to fulfil even the present-day need for food. Another important part of the Food Security Bill is its entitlement of Rs 2,000 as ‘maternity benefits’ to pregnant women, a crucial factor in ensuring healthy births. This alone would require around Rs 15,000 crore, which would have been a valuable investment to make.

There is some positivity in this budget though. The greater-than-ever allocation for sanitation, as also the linkage of nutrition...

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