63% of India's children go hungry while agricultural produce worth US$12 billion rots

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by ajtr, Jul 23, 2010.

  1. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    India outsources food-waste woes

    By Raja Murthy

    MUMBAI - The Indian government is throwing open its food storage business to the private sector and foreign investors, as well as seeking Chinese expertise, at it tries to reduce the annual US$12.2 billion worth of agricultural produce allowed to rot due to inadequate government-owned facilities.

    Food and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar last week threatened criminal action against the wastrels. He targeted officials of the Food Corporation of India (FCI), the government's food stocker and distributor, for leaving grain out in the rain during the monsoon in Uttar Pradesh, India's most populous state.

    The situation has not changed much since 2008, when Subodh Kant Sahai, minister for food processing, made the startling



    disclosure of $12 billion in losses of agricultural produce owing to the absence or shortage of post-harvesting infrastructure, such as cold storage chains, transportation and storage facilities.

    Pawar said he had "a dozen times" asked bureaucrats to attend to food storage shortcomings. But Pawar himself ought to take first rap for presiding over recurring disasters, from continuing farmer suicides, food prices soaring to record highs in the past two years, and now millions of tonnes of grain rotting in the rain.

    The 69-year-old Pawar and controversies seem to love each other. On July 1, he took over as president of the Dubai-based International Cricket Council, a high-profile role in South Asia's richest sport. Obviously, being minister for agriculture and overseeing the livelihood of more than 60% of Indians is not so demanding a job for him to rule out spare time for fun and games.

    While Pawar rollicks about as a global sports administrator, more than five millions tonnes of food stocks rot annually without refrigeration, without even a tin roof or a tarpaulin cover - and this when over 63% of children in India go to bed hungry.

    One in three of the world's malnourished children live in India, says the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), a number more than in sub-Saharan Africa. This avoidable misery continues, year after year, even though India is the world's second-largest producer of food, after China.

    So Pawar and company have decided to let the private sector have a go at bridging the storage gap. The Agriculture Ministry estimates a need for an additional 14 million tonnes of capacity; 12.76 million tonnes of it is being offered to entrepreneurs. They can create storage facilities and rent them to the government. Under the scheme, the FCI will guarantee the rental fee for the first seven years.

    India also plans to increase foreign direct investment (FDI) in food retailing to reduce wastage. Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion Secretary R P Singh told media that the existing retailing structure was not doing enough to reduce grain wastage.

    The food-processing industry is also getting a boost. An astonishingly low 2% of fruit and vegetable production is processed annually in India, compared with 30% in Thailand, 70% in Brazil, 78% in the Philippines and 80% in Malaysia.

    Simultaneously, China is coming to help. The country has 150 million tonnes of agricultural storage capacity, compared with India's 60 million tonnes. Pawar's deputy, Professor K V Thomas, minister of state for agriculture, visited China in June, inspected modern grain storage facilities at Dalian port, Shanghai and Guangzhou, and met his counterpart, Niu Dun, the Chinese vice minister of agriculture.

    The duo agreed to have Chinese technical experts visit India in October and November with a view to increasing storage facilities - opening a promising new front in the complex hot and cold relationship between the two Asian giants.

    India can do with whatever help it can get in the storage business, considering it loses a quarter of its agricultural produce between the farmer's cart and the diner's plate. Nearly 7% of grain and over 30% of fruit and vegetables is estimated to go waste each year without post-harvest facilities.

    The FCI ranks among three foremost culprits for the recurring food-wastage fiasco. The Department of Agriculture and Cooperation and the National Cooperative Development Corporation have also failed to meet half the storage target set by government planners in the 11th Five Year Plan.

    For a trillion-dollar economy to have neglected such a fundamental need as agricultural storage facilities seems remarkable, even for a country with dramatic contrasts and contradictions such as India.

    The problem appears to be heading backwards, going by FCI statistics. FCI had a covered storage facility for 26.59 million tonnes in 2003, and 25.86 million tones in April 2010, even as food grain production nationwide increased to 228 million tonnes in 2009 from 174.19 million tonnes in 2003.

    India has established food storage-related institutions, but without enough authority and scope. The Grain Storage Research and Training Center was set up at Hapur, Uttar Pradesh, in 1958, as a research and development and training center. It is now called the Indian Grain Storage Management and Research Institute (IGMRI).

    "Our organization focuses more on research of upgrading packing materials such as polypropylene bags, pesticides and not storage infrastructure," IGMRI director Subhash Gupta told Asia Times Online from Hapur.

    IGMRI is part of the storage and research division, Department of Food and Public Distribution, and another chapter in the story of missing state-of-the-art storage facilities.

    China, in contrast, runs the Beijing-based State Administration of Grain, the top agency coordinating all food grain matters - from purchase, storage and quality control to research and development. It employs about 200,000 workers to operate high-tech storage tools, including power ventilation appliances, recycling fumigation devices and computer-controlled temperature measuring systems.

    Time is running out. With the size of India's urban food market estimated at $74 billion, increasing demand will complicate the battle against food inflation that is already hovering at a 10-year high. Attacking the $12 billion foodstuff loss would be a fruitful start, more so as India's agricultural output is expected to double in the next decade.
     
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  3. SATISH

    SATISH DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    12.2 billion dollars worth food going to waste?...what a shame?
     
  4. Energon

    Energon DFI stars Stars and Ambassadors

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    I think it is becoming increasingly clear that India is one of the worst places on the planet for a human being to be alive. These horrendous conditions aren't created overnight, they are a result of years, centuries and eons of bad habits.

    What has always surprised me is that most people are convinced that the definition of a famine is the acute and widespread scarcity of food. A closer look however reveals that famines aren't a problem of availability, but rather a problem of distribution.

    India may no longer struggle officially with famines in the post green revolution era, however like everything in India the "success" is merely tipping the head above the water, and not the actual resolution of the issue. Green revolution may have resulted in an increased yield, but the fundamental problem of distribution still remains intact.

    There are of course, many, many reasons for this- both structural and cultural. It seems neither have been addressed too successfully. I really hope this changes.
     
  5. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    There are few things that make me angry more than things like loosing so much food just because we don't have proper storage facilities. This should have been a prirority 1 issue espicially given the malnutrition crisis as well as infaltion levels. The blame goes not only ot the politicians but also the corrupt babus andtheir nexus with businesmen who would rather make profits than feed their people.
     
  6. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Hunger spreads as foodgrains continue to rot in Madhya Pradesh

    Bhopal: When malnutrition is the stark reality in most of the states, it is difficult to believe that food could be getting wasted due to lack of storage space.

    Nearly five thousand metric tons of wheat bought from local farmers by the Seoni district Cooperative society is rotting out in the rain.
    Even though, in the last one year, a hundred children have died of malnutrition in MP.

    When the NDTV team reached ground zero to do a reality check, it found labourers covering the sacks with a black plastic sheet and some lame explanations."Since there are not enough godowns for storage, we are forced to keep five thousand metric ton of wheat out in the open and send forty thousand metric tons to other districts," said B K Agrawaal, manager, warehouse , Seoni .

    The picture is not very different in the neighbouring districts either. Not very far away from Seoni district is Harda. Rotting grains, plastic sacks open, grains spilling out, getting wet. It's the same picture across all state.

    In Vidisha, nearly forty five thousand metric tonnes of food grain stands soaking in the rain water, it was removed when the media brought up the issue.

    In Hoshangabad, ten thousand metric tonnes are getting wasted.

    In Harda district, nearly 1500 metric tonnes are rotting.

    According to the official estimate, three lakh metric tonnes of food grains are in temporary storage, in other words it is lying in the open. This, even as the BPL families in Madhya Pradesh are getting just 20 to 25 kg of food grain a month which is less than the 35 kg stipulated by the Supreme Court.

    "We are asking the supreme court commissioner's office to discuss and plan with Govt of India, Food corporation of India and the ministry of food and civil supplies to allocate this full amount of food grain to poor families ,especially to those families who are most marginalized and mal nourished," said Sachin Jain , Adviser to Supreme Court, Right To food , Madhya Pradesh.

    Out of the three lakh metric tonnes of food grains lying in the open , If thirty five kgs are distributed to the BPL families, almost seven lakh marginalized families will have food on their platter for at least one full year.

    In such a situation, grain rotting in the state is nothing short of a criminal wastage when three out of five children sleep without Food.
     
  7. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Food Security in India An Urgent Issue



    By Pamela Philipose,Womens Feature Service



    'Sometimes from sheer rebellion we ate grass, although it always resulted in stomach cramps and violent retching...' Kamala Markandaya, 'The Nectar In A Sieve' (1982).

    Indian literature is replete with descriptions of hunger because it has been a constant guest in many a home, leaving its cursed footprint on people's lives in marked and tragic way.

    The National Advisory Council, headed by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, has just recommended that households in India's poorest districts get 35 kilograms of food grain every month at Rs 3 (US$1=Rs 46.7). The move comes as a reminder that at the heart of India's hunger are women. Nothing underlines this more than an insight that emerged from the National Family Health Survey-3: Anaemia is two times higher among Indian women than Indian men.

    Visit the cavernous maternity wards of Mahila Chikitsalaya, a public hospital just off Jaipur's Sanganeri Gate, to understand this better. Here lie innumerable pale-faced women, many of them not yet 20, with their tiny, mewling newborns. A significant proportion of these babies are unlikely to survive their fifth year. This is a scene that is repeated in public hospitals all across India.

    Explains Dr A.K. Shiva Kumar, noted development economist and member of the National Advisory Council, "The extremely high proportion of low birth weight babies born in India points to an inter-generational transfer of under-nutrition from the mother to the child. Malnourished mothers mean malnourished children."

    The urgency of the issue cannot be emphasised enough. Chris Chalmers, Acting Head, DFID India, which is working with the governments of Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa and West Bengal to address malnourishment, puts it this way, "Four in 10 Indian children are malnourished, and are therefore likely to have poor health, do worse in school and earn less in later life. This is not just about eradicating hunger. It's about ensuring a good quality diet that allows children to grow and lead productive lives."

    As early as in 1974, The Status of Women Committee Report - the first attempt by the Indian government to review the position of women - expressly recognised that hunger in India has a gender dimension. It decried the custom of women serving food to the men of the family first, adding that "in families affected by poverty, this generally results in ... great malnutrition for the women".

    Nothing, in fact, symbolises women's poor status within the family and lack of personal entitlement more eloquently than that paltry meal of rice gruel or a dry 'chapati' (whole wheat Indian bread) they get to have after everybody in the household has eaten. That they get only this is not surprising given that a large proportion of women are denied opportunities to develop themselves, both physically and mentally. As children, saddled with domestic responsibilities, including the care of siblings, they have no role in making the decisions that shape their future, whether it is going to school, getting better health care, or entering into marriage. An estimated 45 per cent of women marry before they are 18, the statutory minimum age of marriage.

    Access to education could have changed this picture. Not only would it have delayed the age of marriage, it would have enhanced greatly the chance of an independent wage, which would in turn have helped raise standards of family income and nutrition. India's female literacy rate is around 54.5 per cent, which means that nearly half the country's female population is unlikely to make the right decisions about their personal entitlements or good feeding practices.

    The lack of women's bargaining power within the household also stems from the fact that they have little economic independence. While 80 per cent of India's working women labour in the fields and can be seen as major food producers, less than 10 per cent of them own land. Says Bina Agarwal, Director of the Institute of Economic Growth, University of Delhi, who has worked extensively on women and property rights, "When a woman has assets, it impacts more directly on the greater access to nutrition for all members of the family than when only the man has assets."

    What then is the way forward? First, the issue of food security and nutrition has to become part of everyday discourse. After all, it was only when a writ petition in the Supreme Court on the right of every Indian to be free of hunger was filed in 2001, did an issue that directly impacts two-thirds of the country's population even figure as a public issue. Today, we have a Food Security Bill awaiting enactment thanks to those earlier efforts.

    But distributing food grain is only one part of the hunger story. This brings us to the second point: If legislation on food security has to be effective, it needs to move towards addressing the issue of adequate nutrition, so that people get food that does not merely satiate their hunger but nourishes them.

    Third, the focus has to be firmly on women. Not only does their malnutrition impact on the health and well-being of future generations, women are also directly responsible for feeding and caring for families, especially children. Food security should, therefore, also mean a more equal gender friendly domestic and work environment.

    Ironically, while caring for children continues to be widely regarded as a woman's duty, working mothers face many childcare dilemmas. When family finances run low, female employees are sometimes forced to come back to work even two weeks after they have had their child and weaning is abrupt. Not only is the infant deprived of its mother's milk, the mother herself has little time to recoup after childbirth. So while everybody recognises that breastfeeding is vital for an infant's nutrition, there is very little policy-making on how this can be ensured while protecting the rights and welfare of the mother. Similarly, there is very little thinking on how fathers could be better involved in child caring and nutrition.

    According to Dr Vrinda Datta at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, the situation is no different in rural India, with women leaving their infants soon after birth to work in the fields. A major government intervention like the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, for instance, has provision for crèches for women workers on paper but, as a recent survey by the New Delhi-based Forum for Creche & Child Care Services revealed, they are almost non-existent. Says Savitri Ray, of the Centre for Women's Development Studies, who was associated with this survey, "I visited several worksites in Rajasthan, UP and Jharkhand, but didn't see a single crèche." Institutions like 'balwadis' are generally of little help because they lack flexibility of timings.

    Ultimately food security is not just about delivering food grain to families so that they have something edible on a plate. It is also about putting social change and gender equality on the table.

    Womens Feature Service covers developmental, political, social and economic issues in India and around the globe. To get these articles for your publication, contact WFS at the www.wfsnews.org website.
     
  8. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Stop the hunger pangs


    Are hunger and starvation acceptable any longer? Despite the campaign for the Right to Food Act which pinpoints several criteria as basic needs, poverty is widespread. A severe moral deficit is an underlying factor, says PRAHALAD SINGH

    Evidence is now mounting in many parts of our country that there continues to exist what Amartya Sen calls persistent mass hunger, especially acute malnutrition among many children. Recent reports in the media about poor children eating mud and silica to deal with their hunger in village ‘Ganne' in district Allahabad appeared in The Hindustan Times on April 4 and on BBC on May15. These reports raise, once again, serious issues of abject neglect of children and point towards a most uncaring administration.

    Collapse of security

    An enquiry was ordered by the Supreme Court in response to the media reports on the situation by Ms. Arundhati Dhuru and Prof. Jean Dreze, now member National Advisory Council. The main findings of the enquiry are that there is a total collapse of food security related schemes and 80 per cent of the people are deprived of their entitlements. People are living with starvation and hunger due to acute poverty. 90 per cent of the children examined suffer from severe malnutrition of Grade IV. Elected representatives and administration have failed to secure people's access to the right to food and failed to protect the life and livelihood of families in the affected villages, communities and beyond. Many of the people in Ganne village are working as bonded labourers.

    The Right to Food Campaign, civil society and economists like Jean Dreze, point out several facts. The poverty estimates of about 40 per cent given by the Tendulkar Committee to determine the number of poor in our country who will receive subsidised food under the forthcoming National Food Security Act is inadequate to our current situation of hunger, starvation and malnutrition. Others that have submitted their reports in the past two years are the National Committee for Enterprises in the Unorganised Sector (NCEUS) set up by the Government of India, that estimates that 77 per cent of our population have an income of less than Rs.20 per day in 2004-05; the Saxena Committee set up by the Ministry of Rural Development that says that 50 per cent of our population should be considered below the poverty line.

    The Kolkata Group, an independent initiative inspired and chaired by Amartya Sen, has demanded that the Right to Food Act be made non-discriminatory and universal to cover legal food entitlements for all Indians. The Eighth Kolkata Group Workshop (February 2010), has argued for creating durable legal entitlements that guarantee the right to food for all in the country. Sen stressed the need for the firm recognition of the right to food, and comprehensive legislation to guarantee everyone the right. “A Right to Food Act covering enforceable food entitlements should be non-discriminatory and universal. Entitlements guaranteed by the Act should include food grains from the Public Distribution System (PDS), school meals, nutrition services for children below the age of six years, social security provision, and allied programmes” a statement released by the Kolkata Group said. On the basis of exceptionally high levels of under-nutrition in India, particularly among women and children, Sen has argued for the firm recognition of the right to food in general and comprehensive legislation to guarantee the entitlement of food for all. Recent experience (including Supreme Court orders on the right to food as well as the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) shows the value of putting economic and social rights in a legal framework.

    The paucity of resources can no longer be an excuse for keeping our people hungry. It is more a case of having the right priorities, and a moral deficit. The NCEUS report appointed by the government points out that the safety net can be provided within the available resources and capacity of the government. If a universal subsidy can work in Tamil Nadu state and PDS can work in Kerela state why can't it be made to work elsewhere?

    Change in perceptions

    A shift needs to happen towards enforceable rights, towards implementation through authentic participatory development, from target group handouts towards empowerment and agency of the poor, socially excluded and the deprived; their capacity building, participation and change in their understanding of interlinking dimension and the need to self mobilize for peaceful public action and more genuine democracy. Amartya Sen advocates economic growth as a means FOR human development, building capabilities and entitlements. Sen is celebrated in India yet his advice goes unheeded.

    It is not simply an issue of the need for mobilising economic and other resources but it is more the need to mobilise shame. It is not just a question of balancing the budget and improving fiscal deficit but to recognise the appalling rate of social conscience deficit. A poor family watching helplessly as their child afflicted with starvation not only undergoes physical and mental suffering but also suffers shame, loss of dignity, hope, voice and stake in the system. Such alienation can be traumatic and can sow the seeds of social discord, extremism and upheaval as has happened among the tribals, where malnutrition is highest in the country (up to 90 per cent). By the same token the uncaring society and government suffers an equal loss of their true and higher self, compassion and humanity.

    PHOTO: V.V. KRISHNAN

    Vulnerable : Adivasis and Dalits demand action.
    India wants to reach the moon but the question is whether it can reach its own starving children. Who cares if the Commonwealth of the “Games” is so uncommonly unequal. According to Harsh Mander, a Food Commissioner appointed by the Supreme Court, about ten homeless die every day in Delhi. Says Mander “That so many people die each day at our doorstep, close to the centers of power, is a reminder how scarce is compassion in our public life.”

    Where billionaires are doubling every two years and many more have illegally stacked $1446 billion in Swiss Banks, according to the Swiss Banker's Association Report. In a ‘poor' country such as ours, how do you calculate the price of a starving child's life? Gandhiji said that when in doubt, think of the poorest and the weakest; as to how your decision is going to affect or help them. As our leaders calculate the cost and benefit of millions of rupees against the millions starving, and so many infants dying, are they thinking of the marginalised and the most vulnerable; the hungry and starving poor children, living and dying on mud and silica?
     
  9. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Finding a fix for food security


    Furious debates among policymakers about the proposed national food security law largely revolve around its financial repercussions. The Planning Commission is finally coming around to accepting the Tendulkar Committee’s estimates of 37.2 per cent BPL population or 8.5 crore BPL households. The fiscal burden in implementing the food security law for 37.5 per cent BPL population, with each household being

    provided 35 kg food grains, is estimated to be Rs 40,400 crore. The present food subsidy to FCI is Rs 60,000 crore.

    To better understand the implications of the food security law, states can be broadly categorised into food deficit/ net food importing states and food surplus/ net food exporting states. While some of the net food importing states such as Bihar have demanded the subsidy in cash as food coupons to the BPL households rather than in kind, the primary interest of the net food exporting states like Punjab and Haryana is to safeguard farmers’ interests in terms of remunerative prices for their produce at the time of harvest. So the interests of the food surplus states lie in maintaining the status quo, i.e., doling out food subsidy in kind rather than in cash. These two conflicting interests need to be reconciled in any efficient implementation of the Right to Food law. This is best implemented if genuine public-private competition is introduced in the mandis at the time of procurement of the foodgrains from the farmer-producers and also at the point of distribution to the consumers. As of today, Food Corporation of India (FCI) is the key statutory implementing agency for both procurement and distribution and here lies the reason for the bottomless pit of national food subsidy. For more effective implementation of the food security law, the distribution function needs to be hived off, with the aim of encouraging public-private competition in both, and also to introduce the element of consumer choice to increase her net welfare.

    To address the needs of 8.5 crore BPL households with the present food subsidy budget of Rs 60,000 crores, the average food subsidy per BPL household works out to be Rs 7,060 per annum. This translates to a subsidy of Rs 16.80 per kg of foodgrain for a monthly foodgrain allocation of 35 kg. This level of subsidy is adequate if the average market price of foodgrains is Rs 20 per kg or less. No wonder Nitish Kumar, CM of a net food importing state, wants the food subsidy to be doled out in cash as food coupons. This gives the power of choice to the BPL household to choose in the market between the PDS shop and the private retail shops.

    However, the concerns of net food exporting states like Punjab, Haryana, UP, AP and MP in protecting the interests of the producer-farmers is not addressed without state intervention at the time of arrivals in the mandis. State intervention is necessary to ensure minimum support prices for the produce. How can this be achieved with the same level of budgetary support if cash or food coupons are distributed to the BPL consumers? I recommend that BPL households be given a choice in the form of food coupons entitling them to the monthly quota of food grains at Rs 3 or Rs 2 (under Antyodaya Anna Yojna Scheme) from the PDS shop or in case she does not find value for money in the PDS shop, she can choose to encash the food coupon at a private retail shop, who in turn would be reimbursed from the nearest authorised post office or bank. At Re1 per kg of budgetary support for procurement function to feed the 8.5 crore BPL population at 35 kg per month, the procurement agency of the government would need an annual budgetary grant of Rs 3,570 crore. If it is assumed that a support of Rs 3 per kg is adequate to the procurement agency for it to ensure that the prices of the produce do not fall below the minimum support prices, an annual budgetary support of Rs 10,710 crores would be sufficient to procure the required annual quantity of 35.7 million tonnes of food grains for the BPL households. This budgetary support to its own procurement agency would ensure the supply of food grains to every corner of the country through the PDS shops, ensuring competition in both procurement and distribution operations. The balance budgetary support of Rs 49,300 crores may be kept as distribution subsidy, translating to an annual entitlement of food coupons worth Rs 5,800 per BPL household or a support level of Rs 13.80 per kg of food grain. This support would be adequate if the average market prices are Rs 17 per kg or less. With the distribution agency of the government honouring the food coupons at the price of Rs 3 per kg, the consumer would encash the food coupons at the private outlet only if she gets better value for money.

    In effect, the distribution and procurement agencies of the government survive in the marketplace on their own strength. The consumer would get greater choice, better quality and competitive prices. Enabling encashment of food coupons at private retail outlets would bring greater competition at the time of procurement in the food surplus states too. However, the bottomline for any successful food security legislation lies in separating the procurement and distribution arms of FCI and freeing them of bureaucratic and ministerial control. The bottom of the pyramid can become a source of rapid econo-mic change and the key is to treat poor people with respect, as consumers.

    The writer is an IAS officer. Views expressed are personal.
     
  10. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    India at an inflection point in food processing: Experts



    Q: How big is this food processing opportunity? Also we have had liberal norms for FDI in food processing, still we haven’t really seen big bang investments. What would be the reason for that?
    Sahay: So far the opportunity is concerned I think the sky is the limit for that because it is a sunrise sector. The whole world process 80%-90% of their produce. We are processing altogether 10%. Being a larger producer in so many areas compared to the world but our processing and value addition is very less.
    It's a fact that this sector was not very much focused because our task was more to fulfill our requirement as an agriculture produce to feed our 1 billion plus people. But now the time has come for the second Green Revolution. We need more productivity, we need to go for what the market driven farming and demand driven farming is. So this will all give a lot of opportunities in this sector.
    Q: This 10% number is hardly new. If I remember right 15-17 years ago when I started as a cub reporter the APIRA chairman of that day also told us that only 10% of India's vegetable and food products are getting processed and coming to the dining table as it were. Is there any game plan that your ministry has, any set of administrative or legislative steps that may be taken in 2010 itself to improve this transferring from farmland to the dining table as it were?
    Sahay: Basically you have rightly said this sector was very heavily taxed and there was a lot of anomalies in the whole working pattern. There were 16 laws earlier and those laws were a big hurdle for setting up of industries.
    Now we have created an integrated food law, single law up to the Panchayat. We have made this sector more investment friendly because all central excise is zero or import duty I have reduced on the Bisleri of around 5% and there is a five-year tax holiday for the foods and vegetable for setting up an industry. In cold chain we have given 150% on income tax and R&D.
    So this I can say today that it is an investment friendly sector and 10 years back it was a different story. So today I can say this sector you have rightly said how from the farmland it comes to the dining table because this sector creates a demand for the farmer. We need raw material to process and value addition.
    For that they have to go to the farmer and it will help the farmer to enhance their productivity, to become more technologically oriented and in the process of contract farming or co-operative farming or creating a processing of raw material. So the situation has become now right.
    Earlier our task was to fulfill our stomach. Now the task is to enhance the productivity and how to create farmer economically sustainable, which is 70% of our population. So they are both linked, agriculture both post-harvest and pre-harvest is a task before the investor.

    Q: There is a time gap between the legal changes and a sector taking off, witness the electricity act and probably power projects coming in in their full fledged. Would you say the legislative environment is in place? Where do you see the big leap coming in the food processing sector? Right now would you put your money in that sector?
    Jhaveri: The Cabinet Minister is here addressing investors. It's very clear that the thrust of the government is there and most important point is that we have seen power, telecom and infrastructure investments already there.
    This is a summarized industry which can easily absorb USD 100 billion of investments over the next five years. The most important point is there are no FDI norms anymore, there are no taxation issues anymore. Hence this is one sector which can actually take us to the next level. Two-thirds of our population depends on this. We are just at the cusp of that inflection point in this sector.
     
  11. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Govt lets 30 lakh tonnes of paddy rot


    Even as the Centre is redrafting the Food Security Bill to ensure availability of food for all, nearly 30 lakh tonnes of paddy — the rice from which could feed around 4 lakh people for a month — have been left to rot in Punjab, with the Food Corporation of India (FCI) refusing to lift the stock.This particular variety of paddy, PAU 201, was developed by Punjab Agricultural University, and farmers were strongly encouraged to grow it. But now that they’ve done so in large quantities, the FCI, after examining it, has found the extent of damaged stalks to be much higher than rules permit it to accept.

    “The Union food secretary has made it clear to us that the FCI will not lift PAU 201,” said N.S. Kang, financial commissioner (development) of Punjab.

    “We don’t want to face criminal cases,” said a top FCI official. “The grain damage is 8-9 per cent — much more than the limit of 4.75 per cent we are allowed. Procuring it would be a clear violation of Prevention of Food Adulteration norms.”

    PAU 201 was cleared by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research three years ago. Scientists claimed it was a high yielding variety of paddy that required less water than others, matured faster and even had higher nutritional value.

    For the first two years, Punjab farmers did not sow it on a large scale. But in 2009-10, they planted it across 6 lakh hectares and produced about 45 lakh tonnes — around 30 per cent of the state’s total produce, said a state government official.

    In the past six months, millers disposed of 15 lakh tonnes. But the rest is rotting.

    “Government agencies should take my entire stock away and compensate me. I don’t want to mill this variety as the FCI will not lift it,” said Gurpreet Singh Mann, owner of Yadvendra Rice and General Mills, Bathinda.

    “State agencies that procured the paddy from farmers will suffer losses of several hundred crore if it is not lifted,” said D.S. Grewal, Director, Food, Punjab. “The government is even considering exporting the stock, if any other country is willing to take it.”

    The Punjab government has started issuing advertisements advising farmers never to sow PAU 201 again.
     
  12. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    It will be good to decentralise FCI and also make it professional regional centres competing among themselves.
    It can also be a semi-governmental and semi-private (similar SPIC) agency to meet food security bill with subsidiaries but also efficient and also possibly a kind of profit making independent organisation. Four regions - such as South, North, East and West regional independent Food supplies through different FCI kind of agencies.

    There is also a need for investment in the processing units.
     
  13. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Unable to store, FCI wants food grain exported



    New Delhi: Even as lakhs of Indians starve everyday, several tonnes of food grains continue to rot in godowns across the country. However, what is more shocking is the Food Corporation of India's (FCI) suggestion that the country export those food grains to neighbouring countries like Nepal and Bangladesh to avoid further wastage.
    In India, the FCI is responsible for procurement and storage of food grain.
    According to an FCI note accessed by CNN-IBN, it suggests the government to export wheat to Bangladesh and Nepal at cheaper prices. It also wants more wheat and rice to be distributed through Public Distribution System in the country's 150 poorest districts.

    Earlier, a CNN-IBN expose showing tonnes of food grain rotting in open had shocked the nation.
    In a damage control exercise, the government admitted that 61,000 metric tonnes of food grains, which could have fed about 8.4 lakh people for one year, was unfit for consumption.
    The FCI now wants the excess wheat to the exported to Bangladesh and Nepal at a price much lower price than the export price of Rs 1,543 per quintal.
    "If you can recover Rs 11 a kg, as a commercial proposition then you are in a safe zone if you want to export. But this country, having seen the drought is playing doubly cautious," says Ashok Gulati, Director, FCI.
    It not only justifies its suggestion but also wants the External Affairs Ministry to meet officials in Bangladesh and Nepal to expedite the process.
    Right in the middle of a crisis, officers are working hard to make Indian wheat cheaper for exports, and sell damaged food grains as animal feed. Ironically, it comes on a day when the Supreme Court asked the government why grains can't be given to the poor.
     
  14. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Criminal waste of food


    Arindam Chaudhuri

    Every year a huge quantity of foodgrains is allowed to rot in FCI godowns or lost to rodents due to poor storage facilities. The food that is wasted could have been used for feeding India’s hungry millions. That would have ensured food security for the poorest of the poor

    There's no doubt that the National Food Security Bill would come as a blessing for millions of families who sleep on empty stomachs. But the real question is, how will our authorities manage to mobilise this huge quantity of foodgrains? Distribution in itself is a huge bottleneck. More than that, the other impediments are procurement and storage.

    Going by the Food Security Bill recommendations, if the Government has to distribute 420 kg of foodgrains to each of the 830 lakh BPL families every year, it would require 350 lakh tonnes of foodgrains every year. My scepticism behind the ‘success’ of this Bill revolves around the current state of our Food Corporation of India godowns.

    The obscene destruction of foodgrains in FCI godowns, which in reality are a real feast zone for rodents, is nothing new. What’s even more ironical is that despite food prices soaring like never before, the Government seems so very reluctant towards distributing foodgrains, even those stocks that are on the verge of getting damaged, if not already damaged.

    According to reports obtained through the Right to Information Act, improper storage facilities and poor maintenance has destroyed a mind-boggling 10,688 lakh tonnes of foodgrains over the years. What’s more shocking is that in spite of making allocation after allocation, and that too to the tune of thousands of crores of rupees towards food safety and food subsidy, foodgrain stocks worth Rs 50,000 crore had to be disposed of as waste over the past few years due to improper storage facilities.

    The incorrigibility of our authorities is so predominant that despite having knowledge about these damages, they still have not taken adequate measures to improve the storage facilities. Otherwise, what else could be the logic behind the reliance on tarpaulin storage facilities for foodgrains? So much so that currently more than 170 lakh tonnes of foodgrains are stored in tarpaulin facilities.

    Foodgrains stored under tarpaulin facilities not only have a low shelf life but also are exposed to frequent attacks by rodents. In the past, it was found that FCI’s godowns in a locality in Jaipur were found storing liquor for Rajasthan State Breweries Corporation, while wheat stocks were left in the open.

    If one goes by the Planning Commission’s estimates that a family should be provided with 35 kg of foodgrains every month, then the food wasted over the years (from 1997 to 2010) could have fed 25,000 lakh families in one year, or 2,500 lakh families over the last 10 years. This would have also been enough to feed 830 lakh BPL families over the next 30 years.

    In other words, adequate storage and systematic distribution infrastructure could have fulfilled the objectives of the National Food Security Bill, all by itself. If mistakes of the past are to be overlooked (which shouldn’t be), the present stock of 590 lakh tonnes of foodgrains stored in various FCI godowns could easily feed 1,404 lakh BPL families for a year — and we would be still left with a huge buffer stock that could be used in an emergency.

    This distribution will not only bring these to-be-destroyed foodgrains to some effective use but will also benefit the Government economically. Assuming that the public distribution system is mobilised to distribute these stored foodgrains (590 lakh tonnes in various FCI godowns across India) at Rs 3 per kg (suggested by Planning Commission), it would add nothing less than Rs 17,000 crore to the Government’s kitty. Such wastage of foodgrains is not only a waste of precious food resources but also offsets the whole rationale of food subsidy.

    The food subsidy bill (that on an average is above Rs 50,000 crore) rarely finds itself reaching the needy. And such a waste means that along with foodgrains worth tens of thousands of crores of rupees, a substantial part of food subsidy, attached with these stocks, is also wasted.

    With anywhere between 20 to 30 crore Indians sleeping hungry every night, such waste is not less than a criminal offence. In such a situation, one finds no logic behind storing foodgrains in ill-maintained FCI godowns, especially at a time when food prices are at their peak.

    Rather than focusing on expanding, upgrading and modernising the FCI facilities, which can then pave the way for a successful and sustainable National Food Security Bill, the Government’s focus on the Right to Food is outright populist. Not to forget it has still a lot to do with respect to the PDS. No wonder we do so much to keep earning a place that is worse than even sub-Saharan countries in the Global Hunger Index.
     
  15. 171K

    171K Tihar Jail Banned

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  16. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Can’t give away free grain as SC says: Sharad Pawar


    Food minister Sharad Pawar said on Thursday that it was unfeasible to distribute state-held grain for free, a non-binding suggestion made by the Supreme Court. On August 12, hearing an ongoing public-interest petition, which quoted extensively from an HT report (India lets grain rot instead of


    related stories
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    feeding poor, July 26), maintaining that wheat was rotting for lack of proper storage, the court had said the government should consider releasing free grain as a “short-term measure”.
    India provides 35 kg of grain a month for Rs 4.15, substantially below the market price, to the 60 million families identified as “below poverty line”. Of this, 2 million families, counted as “poorest of the poor”, get grain at Rs 2.

    “The Supreme Court’s suggestion (for free grain) is not possible to implement,” Pawar said. India posted its highest wheat yield in 2009-10 at 80.71 million tonnes, but lacks warehouses to store all of it.
     
  17. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Food fight: When will we get freedom from hunger?


    For all the battles won since India’s independence, the country hasn’t been able to fight off the tag of being the world’s hunger capital. That the country is home to around 220 million people who are food insecure — the equivalent of the entire populations of UK, France and Germany going hungry — continues to be the most glaring indictment of the state’s policies and priorities down the decades.

    The numbers speak for themselves. According to a United Nations World Food Programme report released last year, more than 27% of the world’s undernourished population lives in India. Around 43% of children (under 5 years) in the country are underweight — among the highest in the world, higher than sub-Saharan Africa’s figure of 28% and much higher than the global average of 25%.

    More than 70% of India’s under-5 children are anaemic, a figure that actually increased by 6% from 2003 to 2009. In as many as 11 Indian states, more than 80% of children suffer from anaemia. It, therefore, comes as no surprise that India held a lowly 65th rank in the Global Hunger Index 2009, which measured the prevalence of hunger in 88 developing countries. The index tagged India’s food security situation as “alarming”.

    More distressingly, the ranks of the undernourished seem to have actually swelled in the past decade. The UN’s Millennium Development Goals report released earlier this year says the prevalence of hunger had increased from 20% of the population in 2000-2002 to 21% in 2005-2007. The region’s average was 21% in 1990-92, which means the country made no dent in the size of its hungry population in nearly two decades.

    Why has India failed so spectacularly in reducing hunger? To bring some perspective to our under-achievement, China — which became independent around the same time and had probably a bigger problem of hunger to deal with — has managed to pull 500 million of its citizens out of endemic hunger since 1950. Its hungry population at present is estimated at 100 million, half that of India.

    The link between poverty and hunger is obvious. The push towards self-sufficiency in food production through the Green Revolution of the 1960s and 70s made India a food surplus nation in many crops. But there hasn’t been commensurate success in putting money in people’s pockets to buy that food. This has led to the cruel irony of grains rotting in godowns even as the poor go hungry.

    But here’s a bigger irony. India was more successful in reducing poverty in the pre-liberalization era when the government had fewer resources to invest, than it has been in the high GDP-growth phase since 1990. Clearly, the rapidly moving engines of Indian economy haven’t been revving hard enough in the vast hinterland where most of the hungry live. Neither has government intervention been effective in redistributing wealth and raising the entitlements of the rural poor to make them useful partners in economic growth.

    But the problem of hunger goes beyond poverty. Even if equitable growth improves access to food, it may not translate quickly into improvements in nutrition and child mortality. For this, more targeted investments are required in health and nutrition programmes.

    Then there’s gender inequality, which experts increasingly cite as a major cause of malnutrition. The percentage of women with chronic energy deficiency in India is as high as 40% and increasing in states such as Assam, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana. Around 30% of babies in India are born underweight, a direct result of women not getting a proper diet during pregnancy.

    Studies using household-level data have shown that gender equality forms an important part of the solution to endemic hunger. The International Food Policy Research Institute has estimated that if the status of men and women were to magically become equal in south Asia, the number of malnourished children will reduce by 13.4 million. That’s because when women have more power within in the family, they are better cared for and can give their children higher quality care.

    Perhaps the biggest potential for change in the calculus of hunger lies in the food security bill. It promises food for all through highly subsidized grains to the poor. If effectively targeted and distributed, the ambitious plan could become a kick-off point for a war on hunger.

    If indeed such a war is called, the food security Act will merely be the first battle. The bigger fights will have to revolve around empowering the poor with real incomes, integrating their skills into the economy, changing social and gender indicators and transforming agriculture to meet the challenges of the future.

    Admittedly, the road to freedom from hunger is long. But like all epic journeys, it has to begin with steps taken in the right direction.

    Read more: Food fight: When will we get freedom from hunger? - India - The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...-hunger/articleshow/6308903.cms#ixzz0x6NykLyy
     
  18. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    UPA has ensured food security for rats, says Left


    The Communist Party of India convened the inaugural session of the extended meeting of the Central Committee in Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh, where the CPI(M) took stock of the situation in the country.

    In a scathing attack on the United Progressive Alliance government, CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat said that the government had failed in all its economic policies and that is why the aam aadmi in the country is suffering. Exceprts from his speech:

    Ever rising prices of food and essential commodities burden the people; millions of people go hungry everyday. The inequalities in income and wealth grow sharper and India has the dubious distinction of having some of richest people in the world along with a substantial number of the poorest people in the world.

    The Congress-led UPA government boasts about the high growth rate achieved. The GDP growth rate is taken as the reliable index of progress and development for the people. But this is not true. What the neo-liberal policies have led to is the primitive accumulation of capital, the enormous growth of the capital and assets in the hands of a narrow strata. The number of dollar billionaires in India has grown from 9 in 2004 to 49 this year. There has been growth, certainly -- for the super-rich.

    The government's policies are designed to help big business make super profits and to enable the transfer of resources to the rich and powerful.

    The fiscal and taxation policies of the Congress-led government illustrate this fact starkly.The UPA-II government in the past one and a quarter years since coming to office is pushing for more neo-liberal policies. The government wants to disinvest shares in all profitable public sector units. Earlier, the Left parties had ensured that shares would not be sold of the 'Navaratna' companies. Now everything is up for sale.

    Agriculture, which employs half the workforce in the country, is in crisis. Agriculture grew by only 0.2 per cent in 2009-10. Foodgrain production fell by 7.5 per cent the same year. Suicides by farmers have not abated. Land reforms are being reversed. In agriculture, corporatisation is being promoted alongside the withdrawal of State support for the peasantry.

    The government proposes to bring in multinational companies into retail trade. The government seeks to push through legislation to FDI in banking and insurance sectors. The working class is under increased attack with labour laws not being implemented and more and more sections being pushed into contract, casual work and into jobs in the informal sector.

    The agenda for all these anti-people policies is being propelled by the Indo-US CEO Forum. What the chieftains of big business in US and India proposes, the Manmohan Singh government accepts and implements.

    How the government policy is injurious for the people's interests is glaringly illustrated by the relentless price rise of food and other essential commodities. Government policies are directly responsible for the ever-rising prices. Repeated increase in the prices of petroleum products is one major reason.

    Forward trading in foodgrains and other essential commodities is another major factor. The government has weakened and curtailed the Public Distribution System through a targeted system which excludes much of the poor. Yet, the government callously and arrogantly refuses to take responsibility.The Congress leadership and the government speak hypocritically about "inclusive growth" when the policies they pursue are designed to exclude the vast majority of the people from access to food, education, jobs and social security. India presents the shameful spectacle of having the world's largest number of hungry and malnutritioned people.

    The FCI godowns have 60 million tonnes of foodgrains. Stocks are overflowing and allowed to rot.

    We had opposed UPA policies to ensure food security for the people, but this government has ensured food security for rats.

    This government no more talks about provision of 6 per cent of the GDP for education and 3 per cent for health. This goal cited in the erstwhile Common Minimum Programme seems more distant than ever.

    In the North East, we have seen the ill-effects of the continuous blockade of the highways to Manipur. Even now essential drugs and commodities are not available for the people who are suffering great hardships.

    The problems of national unity cannot be solved by the over-centralised approach of the ruling class parties. What is required is the creation of a federal system which accommodates the diverse aspirations of the people of the various regions and nationalities.The neo-liberal policies are not only affecting the economic sphere. This is an outlook and philosophy which worships the market and promotes greed and rapacity.

    Every institution of the State and every pore of our society is getting polluted and corrupted. The nexus between big business and politics is now out in the open. Public policy making is suborned to serve the interests of a rich and powerful strata. The mining mafia of the Bellary brothers dictates politics in the BJP-ruled Karnataka and also commands influence in the politics of our host state, Andhra Pradesh.

    Whether it is the IPL or the telecom scam or the Commonwealth Games, there is no line demarcating public policy and personal enrichment.

    Corruption, through the siphoning off of the public funds, preys on the common people who find their rations and other entitlements vanishing into the pockets of a corrupt and greedy nexus of bureaucrats-politicians-contractors.

    The corporate media has become the cheer leader for neo-liberal policies.

    Such an atmosphere has begun to corrode the parliamentary democratic system itself. The people's right to assemble, to organise and to protest is being severely restricted by administrative and judicial actions.Trade unions are not allowed to function in Special Economic Zones and many other enterprises; peasants face police repression if they protests against the lands being taken away; and student unions and organisations are banned in many educational institutions.

    This is the path the ruling classes have adopted which is in alignment with their alliance with the United States of America. For the Manmohan Singh government (and earlier, the BJP-led government too), there are two essential friends for India -- the USA and Israel.

    There are no second thoughts on compromising national sovereignty and even the lives and safety of the people in order to fructify this alliance. As part of the commitment made in the Indo-US nuclear deal, the government has brought a legislation in Parliament which embodies this subservience.

    After the worst industrial accident in the history of the world in Bhopal, in which the victims got no justice and the perpetrator of the crime -- the American multinational -- was let off, the government now proposes a law which will make any American company which supplies nuclear reactors to India not liable for even one rupee if there is a nuclear accident.

    The three Left-led governments of West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura have always striven to put in place pro-people policies. It is these three governments which have implemented land reform to the maximum in the country.

    It is these three governments which have sought to expand the areas of relief and welfare for the unemployed and the poor. All three governments have introduced urban employment guarantee schemes within the constraints of resources. It is these three governments which have adhered firmly to the secular principle and given no quarter to the communal forces.The defence of the Left-led governments is an important task for all the Left and democratic forces in the country.

    On the economic front, the first and foremost task is to tackle the agrarian crisis. Instead of moving towards corporatisation of agriculture, the farmers are to be assured of inputs at reasonable prices, so that agriculture can be sustainable. The goal of ensuring food security requires that farmers be given sufficient incentives to produce more.

    There has to be a universal Public Distribution System with adequate procurement to ensure that hunger and malnutrition are eliminated. The public sector should play a key role in the strategic sectors of the economy including the financial sector. Labour intensive industries should be encouraged, so that more employment is created.

    Speculative capital flows must be regulated and profits from such foreign institutional investment taxed. Steps should be taken to recover the illegal money kept in tax havens and secret bank accounts. The corporates and the affluent should pay more taxes.

    It is with the increased tax revenues that there can be increased public expenditure on education, health and social welfare.

    The rights of the tribal people over their own lands must be ensured by the implementation of the Forest Rights Act and protection of their rights by stopping large-scale, indiscriminate and illegal mining. The scourge of corruption in public life and in State institutions must be tackled by starting at the top.

    On global warming and the steps to protect the world environment, India has to take a firm stand to ensure that the advanced countries discharge their responsibilities to cut emissions and to help the developing countries adopt environmental friendly technologies.
     
  19. Energon

    Energon DFI stars Stars and Ambassadors

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    This is the only original thought in the thread. While posting articles are appreciated, they are of no value unless followed by original thoughts of posters on forums.

    Your ideas are spot on, unfortunately it is the implementation that is lacking. If you read policy papers from the past, these very recommendations have been made multiple times, mostly because they are deducted from common sense. Yet the government of India keeps rejecting them in the favor of nationalized "schemes" which like their predecessors are nothing more than excellent examples of failures.

    IMO we should first identify who these ill fed hungry people are. Not everyone in India is hungry, only a select group, albeit a very large one is subjected to hunger and destitution. It is this group to whom food never seems to "reach." This cohort of people has been experiencing these inhumane conditions for possibly over a millennium. They are always at the receiving end of bizarre events that are inherently illogical. For instance, how many of you can point out nations with industrial and technical capabilities equal to that of India who have such horrendous food chain supply problems? How is it that despite decades of moaning and groaning over the lack of infrastructure India still has one which belongs to the 18th century? It's certainly not because the country is "poor."

    There are core problems with privatization in India when it comes to large scale programs such as these.
    1. The government itself has no intention of letting any of this go. The tentacles of corruption are embedded far too deep in this sector. The "infrastructure" programs catered to India's poor are ostensibly the most corrupt systems in the world, which is exactly why the poverty in India is what it is. This is not to say that all civil servants are corrupt, not at all, in fact the food and agricultural public sector of India employs lots of bright minds, many of them armed with PhDs from Western universities. There are also many policy makers who have all the right intentions, unfortunately the bureaucracy is such that it is designed to resist change. The fault primarily can be traced back to the congress party itself since they created most of these 'made for corruption' bureaucratic systems. However evidence also shows that other parties when in power benefit from them equally and are not interested in any real reform.
    2. Privatization itself is a bit of a chimera. There aren't too many private organizations who have the capability to pull of such large programs. It takes a lot of time to develop it and other than a few Indian business houses like ITC and Birla, most companies have no such exposure. This is primarily because government used to go out of their way to keep them out. But since the 90s there has been privatization and the government has officially contracted many services out. I have seen Indian officials come to the US and present charts and graphs that show an impressive rate of privatization. Unfortunately this is for the most part only on paper, because when you examine the failure rate of these programs it is equivalent to what the government was providing.
    3. I think this is because the few big companies that have been dealing with the government for many years are themselves entrenched in corruption. And I have a sneaking suspicion that the smaller companies are owned and operated by people working in the public sector (probably through friends,family or other figureheads). These are the people who are using the popular trend of "decentralization" and "privatization" to reap the same benefits they used to in their government appointed positions. Except now they collect two paychecks instead of one, both paid by the tax payer or India of course.
    4. There are many more but I'll cut it short here.


    The greater point is that market forces and privatization only work when they are genuine. The only way to ensure this is to first reform the public sector itself. Without a reformed governmental body nothing is ever going to happen, and the poor, hungry, starving, dilapidated, stunted and sodden poor of India who now serve as a national embarrassment to their privileged fellow Indians will never go away.
     
  20. Godless-Kafir

    Godless-Kafir DFI Buddha Senior Member

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    The global statics is that 42% of the worlds poor live in India. Can you imagine nearly half the entire poor of the world are in 1 nation out of 200 countries in the world!! Talk about wealth distribution and inequality! What we need is a miracle to cut the population, 750million people who are poor is not a good thing. Some how even the most patriotic person does not have the courage to look at this elephant in the room. We need to stop these people from multiplying like rats. I really hope some crazy crazy dictator takes over the country and neuters most of the population and we over throw him later.! That sounds very childish but look at what our apathy did to the common wealth games, we are bring in the army again. At the last moment the incompetent politicians bring in the Army for everything, how will we bring in the Army when our population reaches 1.8billion and India is under riots for equality! Naxals will have a field day then.

    Everything comes down to population control, if we had a population of 300,000million we would be a great country to live in atleast as good as Argentina, which is really is good.
     
  21. 171K

    171K Tihar Jail Banned

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