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Food Security

In today’s modern world we can’t recognize a state as a civilized one until it can provide the total food security to all of its citizens by any mean, through open market economy or Govt. protected economy. The over population of our country couldn’t allow our governments to allow the open market economy to operate in free hand, and how match that very system would be capable to protect all the citizens from HUNGER that was also a doubt.

So the responsibility lied upon the union and state governments to protect its citizen from HUNGER and they are creating and implementing several programs and projects from the very beginning of our independence by strengthening PUBLIC DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM (started in early 1940, in Bengal) to today’s most awaited FOOD SECURITY BILL, by which 70% poor people of our country can get rice for rs.3.00/kg and wheat for rs.2.00/kg and a family can get 35 kg of food grain per month.

In between these two land marks there are many important steps (projects and programs) taken by the governments to ensure food security of the citizens like Antyodaya anna yojana, Annapurna yojana, Integrated Child Development Service (Anganwari), Mid-day meal, Sahay Prakalpa etc.

Not only the food related policies total food security of the citizen’s depends on many other projects and plans too like, MAHATMA GANDHI NATIONAL RURAL EMPLOYMENT GUARANTEE ACT (100 day job), INDIRA GANDHI NATIONAL OLD AGE PENSION SCHEME and many other policies related with farming and irrigation.

Here we are focusing on some issues of government and privet effort and failures in this aspect.


FOOD DEPT. HAS WITHDRAWN ALL THE RIT E OF ISSUE AND DISTRIBUTION OF RATION CARDS OF PANCHAYET AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT DEPT. Only B.D.O. can issue the ration card here after and Panchayet staffs will investigate the authenticity of the applications in place of the Panchayet members, announced by the honorary minister Jyotipriyo Mallick on 22-02-1-2012. This new system will help to reduce issuing of illegal Ration cards.

FOOD DEPT. HAS CREATED ‘SHOP LEVEL MONITORING COMMITTEE’ to monitor the activities of FAIR PRICE SHOP AND P.D.S. A new technology of mobile SMS has been introduced by the dept. inaugurated in Purulia Dist. in which the shop level committee members will get the SMS of the of quantity of allotted products for the Fair Price Shops of their area.

Introduction of BIOMETRIC JOB CARDS has been started from Mallarpur village of Mayureswar block of Birbhum district. The photograph and thumb impression of the card holder is stored in the card and this new technology will help to pay wages within the 14 days of the working day. NGOs will operate the activity of the cards from the kiosks made in the SBI branches.

11 DISTRICTS OF OUR STATE IS STILL BACKWARD ACCORDING TO YOJANA COMMISSION. Through Backward Region Development Fund (B.R.D.F.) commission has sanctioned rs.8, 100 crore, at the end of 2011, for development of these districts. The allotment would be like this, rs.2, 511 crore for power, rs.2, 200 crore for health, rs.1, 200 crore for road and public works, rs.1, 012 crore for public health engineering, rs.575 crore for school education, rs.130 crore for irrigation, rs.269 crore for small scale and cottage industry and rs.200 crore for housing. 30% of total allotment will come in the 1st year. The total allotment must be utilized within two to five year.

NEW STATE GOVT. REDUCED THE PER HEAD UPPER LIMIT OF THE AMOUNT OF SOIL DIGGING IN M.G.N.R.E.G.A. (100 day job) programs. It will help the poor labors and the State Govt. as well to fulfill the target.

FOOD FOR ALL project has been started by our new state govt. at AMLASHOL on 06/06/20011.

Nutrition rehabilitation center will be build up in every block to fight against the mal nutrition.

Food Dept. is going to introduce DIGITAL RATION CARDS to reduce illegal cards.

NEW STATE GOVT. APPOINTING PRIVET WHOLESALERS TO DISTRIBUTE THE ARTICLES OF THE P.D.S. (PUBLIC DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM) Already 14 wholesalers are appointed for the districts of Howrah and South 24- pgs. This step can mobilize can mobilize the public distribution system but how much it can reduce the corruption, nobody can answer.


THERE IS MANY PLACES IN THE INTERIOUR AREAS OF OUR STATE AND IN THE WHOLE COUNTRY AS WELL WHERE PEOPLE IS TOTALLY UNKNOWN ABOUT THESE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS and both the govt. is totally failed to accumulate these people in this super high way of food security.

MAHATMA GANDHI NATIONAL RURAL EMPLOYMENT GUARANTEE ACT ( 100 day job),scheme is not running successfully even the allotted fund is not been totally used. If a state can’t expense at least 60% of the total allotment in any year that will not get the next year’s allotment. Let’s take a district wise look of percentage of using the fund for the FY 2010-11, Purulia-57%, Malda-33%, Purba Medinipur-13.14%, Pashchim Medinipur-27%, Bankura-22.23%, Birbhum-29.22%, Coochbehar-23.56%, 24 PGS.(N.)-23%, Burdwan-24%, Jalpaiguri-19.28%, Murshidabad-12.98%, 24PGS.(S.)-11.04%, Darjeeling-15%, Nadia-15.70%, Hooghly-12.24%, Purba Medinipur-13.14%. There is three districts remaining under 10% of usage, Howrah-09.18%, Uttar Dinajpur-08.40%, Dakhshin Dinajpur-06.63%. Everybody concern about our land should search for the actual reasons and responsible persons of this failure. More jobs from the depts. of agriculture, irrigation, public works should included in this scheme TO INCREASE THE JOB DAYS PER CARD.

LIKE THE VILLAGES OF MAHALITANR, KALABERA OF AYODHHA PAHAR RANGE OF BALARAMPUR BLOCK OF PURULIYA DIST. THERE IS NO TUBE WELL, ELECTRICITY EVEN NO ONE OF THE VILLAGERS HAVE B.P.L. CARD, even the villages are not enlisted in the list of backward village list (containing 994 villages.) the soil of the area not farmable so most of the villagers have no source of paddy or any other food grain, they usually have boiled local forest vegetation as their main food for the whole week and every Saturday they went for hunting according to their tradition have the roasted flesh of hunted hog or any other local primitive animal. They hardly have any other food for months. A plate of boiled rice is a dream for them and the nightmare too.

ON THE OTHER HAND LET’S TAKE A LOOK HOW MUCH AMOUNT OF FOOD GRAIN WASTED IN F.C.I. WAREHOUSES IN RECENT YEARS. In 2008-09 more than 57,000 ton, in 2009-10 more than 1, 30,000 ton, in 2010-11 more than 1, 57,000 ton. Till the month of September in the current year of 2011-12 the amount of blessing is only 87,000 ton. Recently some F.C.I. warehouses of Adra, Kalyani, Bankuran is filled by 88,000 metric ton of inconsumable rice from Chhattishgarh, C.M. express her protest to the agency. Now the question is how long the poor people of our country will be blessed by these godly govt. officials like this?!

THE QUOTA OF THE STATE FOR ‘ANTODAYA ANNA YOJANA’ IS FOR 76,000 OLD AGE PEOPLE BUT THE STATE GOVT. IS DRAWING ONLY FOR 62,000 PEOPLE, DUE TO LACK OF FUND. People above 65 years of age get 10 kg of crops per month in this scheme. Hope the new govt. can change the scenario.

BPL CARDS ARE ISSUED IN THE NAMES OF THE HOUSEHOLD PETS. KENJAKUNRA village of BANKURA NO.1 block, is becomes famous recently not only for this, the names of the local temple of LORD SHIVA, decorator businessman, owner of two floor concrete made home are also in the list. The panchayet is controlled by the C.P.M.

KISHAN CREDIT CARD AND CROP INSURANCE SCHEME IS NOT RUNNING SUCCESSFULLY. Only rs.11,500 crore has been utilized from the budget of rs.33,500 crore. In this scheme farmers can get loan up to rs.50, 000 against the interest of yearly 7%.

INDIRA GANDHI NATIONAL OLD AGE PENSION SCHEME is seeking man power. Old age people of B.P.L. can get rs.400 monthly in this scheme. Enlisted beneficiary about 13,85,000. Fund distributed out of total allotment till the end of 2010 is, Bakura- 16.82%, Jalpaiguri-39.87%, 24 Pgs.(S)-45.77%, Dinajpur(S)-44.20%, Hooghly49.58% only.


THIS YEAR CENTRAL GOVT. SET THE SUPPORT PRICE OF PER QUINTAL OF PADDY TO RS. 1080 AND APPOINTED THE RICE MILLS TO BUY THE PADDY FROM THE FARMERS and the payment is being made by cheque. It will help to minimize the corruption in crop buying and payment. Farmers has to open a ‘0’ (zero) balance bank account and to produce documents of their land to sale their crop. But the small farmers are avoiding this complicated process due to new bank account hazards and complication in land documents, so state Govt. proposed to the central Govt. to pay in cash for up to 10 (ten) quintal of paddy but they approved for up to 06 (six) quintal only.

But this new, direct buying & payment by cheque system created some new problems for both ends. Middle mans (rice traders) invests around Rs.1440-1600 crore every year in the state for providing advance to the needy farmers who use the money for buying seed, fertilizer, pesticides etc. In the new system this middleman class is abolished so the fund too. On the other hand the buyer rice mill owners have to submit the money to the bank account of the Govt. supply agency, by which the agency issues the cheques for the farmers. But usually it takes few days between submitting the advance cheque and getting the crops from the farmers due to the in between official proses, so the buyers are losing interest due to submitting the advance money, if it takes 10 days the amount becomes about rs.25, 000 to 30,000 for per crore of rupees. So not many mill owners showing interest to buy crops behalf of the Govt. in this new process.

Though most of the concern sides considering these problems as the, ‘starting hazards of a new system’ and we also hope with in very few years the problems will be minimized and this new system will be proved as an ideal one in aspect of the farmer’s interest.

Rs.300 CRORE OF SES COLLECTED BY THE STATE GOVT. for the welfare of families of the construction labors. But the State Govt. (Dept. of Labor) has no database about said labors, they asked to the govt. registered construction companies to maintain and send the database to Labor Dept. Not only their family welfare programs without the records, their photo identity card and provident fund scheme is also could not been started.

TO FULFILL THE TARGET OF M.G.N.R.E.G.A. HAS BEEN RRDUSED BY 50 DAY IN PLACE OF 100 DAY. Thus state Govt. can fulfill the target of the program but there will be chance of losing the job day.


THE NUMBER OF I.C.D.S. (ANGANWARI ) CENTERS UNDER EVERY SUPERVISOR SHOULD BE MINIMIZED, in average they have to supervise 40 to 60 centers every month so they hardly can visit a center twice in a month. On the other hand most of the supervisors, C.D.P.O.(child development project officer) and A.C.P.D.O. neglecting their duty too, complaint against them is rising in alarming rate. So vigilance on them should be tightened and an instant punishment system must be introduced.

MOST OF THE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS IN THE COUNTRY IS NOT RUNNING PROPERLY MOSTLY DUE TO LACK OF GOVT. MAN POWEER. Govt. should increase and CREAT NEW POSTS (permanent or temporary) for all programs. Program budget should be designed with these new posts cost, along with this govt. should involve more NGOs in every program. These will be the most effective way to make the programs more successful.

THE BUDGET OF THE AGE BAR OF THE PRIME MINISTER RURAL DEVELOPMENT FELLOWS SCHEME, SHOULD NOT LIMITED BY 30 YEARS, and in spite of creating new programs for this scheme, they should engage with the existing programs, which are urgently seeking man power. PER HEAD BUDGET FOR THE BENEFICIARIES OF INTEGRATED CHILD DEVELOPMENT SERVICE, (ANGANWARI) CENTERS SHOULD BE INCREASED BY AT LEAST RS.02.00. The per head budget for children’s is rs.04.00, for very mal neutered children’s rs.06.00 and for pregnant and recent delivery women’s rs.05.00. There is 01, 10,691 Anganwari centers operating in the state where 76,00,000 people were fed daily. The meal expenditure is shared by union and state govt. equally by 50% and the state govt. has to bear the additional expense of conveyance, fuel, warehouses charges etc. rs.45 crore. According to the regulation everyone should be given half of an egg daily but the budget don’t permit the regulation to perform. More of that, central govt. not sending the funds of their part properly, in 2008-09 union govt. sent only 168 crore in place of 300 crore, in 2009-10 they send only 135 crore, so state govt. is in deep trouble in this aspect. IT’S NOT PROFITABLE FOR ANY RICE-MILL OWNER OR ANY RELATED BUSINESSMAN TO SALE THE RICE IN THE LEVY AFTER BUYING THE PADDY IN GOVT. SUPPORT PRICE, because the support price of paddy is rs.1080 / quintal (100 kg) this year and the rate of rice in levy this year is RS. 14.86 Per kg. According to the local standard in West Bengal, farmers get 64-65 kg of rice from per quintal of paddy so the minimum cost of rice becomes 16.60 rupees. So the rate of LEVY should be increased by at least rs.03.00.

SAHAI PRAKALPA, scheme for providing cooked food to the complete disable families, is an inborn handicapped scheme. It should merged with ANGANWADIs. The helpless, home less adult peoples and vagabonds thus can have at least a single meal per day.

MULTI-DIMENSIONAL POVERTY INDEX REFERS THAT 55% CITIZEN OF OUR LAND LIVING B.P.L. According Yojana Commission, every adult man requires at least 2400 calorie of energy per day, it costs not less than rs.44, so the minimum income of a man living B.P.L. is rs.1320 per month but the Yojana Commission has set the said income level by rs.578 and what about the rest basic needs?! Clothes, education, home, households? So the lowest income level SHOULD BE INCREASED BY AT LEAST RS.2000. The new C.M. is taking steps towards this but it should be implemented in all respect.

IN PLACE OF LARGE WARE HOUSES GOVT. (OR F.C.I.) SHOULD MAKE SMALL WARE HOUSES IN EVERY BLOCK. State govt. has decided to make ware houses in every block of 3,000 ton capacity. Buying of paddy and converting in rice, levy collection and distribution for P.D.S. the both end should be operated in LOCAL AREA WISE (blocks) CYCLE. By this proses, the storage and caring cost, time can be saved, mal distribution and corruption can be minimized and poor peoples, farmers everyone will be benefitted directly. Years long mass storage in large ware houses also should be minimized by at least 50%, rest 50%should be kept for flood, drought or any other natural calamity or emergency propose.

THE MINIMUM PROJECT BUDGET OF M.G.N.R.E.G.A.(100 DAY JOB) should not be rigid by rs.50, 000. The projects and their budget should be state and area wise flexible and the planning and utilization should be totally in the authority of the state.