West Bengal: Food Security
Income difference causes structural issues that may cause hindrance in economic process, food security, poverty and social unrest. Therefore, the pattern of income distribution could be a matter of the concern to the economists for an extended time. Difference in income distribution compels to measure in poverty for a considerable portion of population. A smaller reduction of income difference, even in absence of growth, will cause substantial decline in impoverishment. Poverty, difference and food insecurity are the foremost crucial and chronic issues facing humanity now-a-days. Their alleviations are or a minimum of ought to be at the centre of any important development effort. in reality high difference is coupled with conflict and political instability as a result of it creates incentives for individuals to interact in activities outside the market (e.g., illegal drug traffic, crime) that contribute to political and social instability. Such instability generates disruptions within the current economy and uncertainty regarding the long run, thereby discouraging the build up of wealth, savings and investment.
Food security is one dimension of economic condition, assessing whether or not a household will meet its food desires and its vulnerability to shocks. Therefore, it may be explicit that food insecurity, poverty, deficiency disease, income inequality and lack of decent employment opportunities reinforce one another in a very regeneration by eroding human capital and decreasing labour productivity, thereby perpetuating economic condition and social inequalities across generations. Therefore, making new jobs and upgrading the standard of existing ones, significantly in rural areas, ought to be a core pillar of any development strategy addressing the worldwide hunger challenge.
In the decades of 80’s and 90’s the growth rate of food grains had outstripped that of population in West Bengal. It is, therefore, obvious that there shouldn’t be poverty within the state. However really, this is often not true. There could also be variety of reasons behind it viz., wastages of food, uneven distribution of food and short buying power within the hands of the poor individuals. Although the food handiness in India may well be represented nowadays as state of masses, however typically starvation death news happens. Production surplus doesn’t basically indicate equivalent food accessibility, pretty much as good numbers of individuals don’t have enough cash to shop for food. The spectacular agricultural growth on income distribution in rural West Bengal throughout the 1980s and early 1990s disclosed that in 1983 to 1993-94, once agricultural output in West Bengal was growing at an new rate, the degree of difference within the distribution of rural consumption expenditure declined considerably. However, throughout the later a part of 1990s, once the rate of growth of agricultural output. Declined well, its impact on rural income distribution was reversed, with slowing within the rate of growth of rural employment and average earning of the agricultural labour households. Therefore financial gain distribution in rural West Bengal favoured the poorer categories of population or marginal and little farmers throughout the amount of spectacular agricultural growth. However neither the agricultural growth nor the favourable amendment in rural financial gain distribution may be sustained within the following period.
Food & Supplies Department was started in West Bengal in the month of March, 1943. The Department, being the administrative department, is that the apex body below the state government. It is additionally chargeable for the management of the food economy of the State and for taking policy decisions thereon. The Department has the twin responsibilities of procuring of food grains distributing of food grains and a few alternative essential commodities moreover as for observation and imposing orders enacted beneath the EC Act, 55. It keeps close watch on the stock position, index, handiness of essential commodities, as well as food, operation of Public Distribution System. It monitors the functioning of various directorates there under for implementation of various orders.
The major objectives of the department are as follows:
- i) Guarantee food security for the vulnerable and poor
- ii) Deliver higher quality of services to citizens via PDS
iii) Empower citizens in PDS and Food security.
Under the National Food Security Act (NFASA), central government has been supply rice at Rs 3 per kilo and wheat at Rs 2 per kilo to every beneficiary monthly. Government of India bears a grant of Rs 17 per kilo for Wheat and Rs.23-24 per kilo on Rice.
Public Distribution System (PDS), with its focus originally on distribution of food grains in urban insufficiency areas, had emanated from the vital food shortages of the sixties. Later, the outreach of PDS was extended from time to time throughout 1970s and 1980s to tribal blocks and areas of high incidence of financial condition. Until middle of 1992, PDS was a general entitlement scheme for customers without any specific target. With the target of geographical targeting to hide all the individuals in poor areas, Government of India (GoI) launched Revamped Public Distribution System (RPDS) in June 1992 that was introduced in West Bengal in September 1992 with the subsequent objectives:
- To take care of uninterrupted flow of essential commodities at reasonable costs to the common person throughout the year;
- To produce essential commodities to poor and vulnerable sections of society specifically within the far off mountainous, remote and inaccessible areas.
In June 1997, GoI introduced the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) so as to hide all the poor altogether the areas by earmarking a hard and fast amount (10 kg) of foodgrains1 to families living Below Poverty line (BPL) and on a scale2 to be determined by government supported allocations received from GoI to families higher than poverty line (APL). The GoI later magnified the allocation to BPL families to twenty kilogram of food grains per family per month with impact from April 2000. so as to form TPDS additional cantered and targeted towards poorest of the poor, GoI launched (December 2000) Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY), that aimed toward reducing hunger among the poorest section of population by creating TPDS edges additional substantial in terms of each nutrition and value. In West Bengal, AAY was introduced in October 2001. AAY contemplates identification of poorest of the poor families from amongst BPL families lined under TPDS and providing them food grains at a extremely supported rate of ` 2 per kilogram for wheat and ` 3 per kilogram for rice. The authorities were in contact the cost, together with margins to dealers and distributors additionally because the transportation cost. The dimensions of issue have been increased from 25 kilogram to 35 kilogram per family per month with impact from April 2002.
Economic policies particularly with regards to rural development have undergone a lot of modification over the previous few years in India, and a lot of modification is within the method of being enforced. The debate surroundings these reforms has mobilized monumental attention and energy, and also the arguments conferred on both sides are quite forceful and firm, even resentful. These debates but will facilitate to push human capabilities, and, given the imperative want for fast elimination of endemic deprivation. The contribution of agricultural income within the income profile is a smaller amount than that of non-agricultural income that exhibits the deplorable condition of agriculture and thereby the non-agricultural sector has an vast scope for reduction of income difference even the actual fact remains that concerning 65 per cent of the agricultural population engages in agriculture. Up to now as food security is bothered, although India achieved independence in cereal production since 1970s, the accomplishment didn’t percolate right down to plenty. These deprivations are very acute with differentiated degrees of severity in most sub-groups except medium farms.