September 1, 2010

food rot, supreme court and a government sitting cosy

Media had developed fatigue over the issue of rotting foodgrains and people at large had turned cynical. But when the Supreme Court barked yesterday, the issue has again become alive.

Things and the way the government functions have not changed over years; they did not change since I wrote this post a month ago. They are not supposed to change from today.

It is not the role of the Supreme Court to run the country, it is for the government to do so. But when the government does not do the right things and in the right way, the cout intervenes. When the government does not even provide correct figures of foodgrain damage, the court appoints its own team. When the court issues an order [can see the wordings here], the minister says, they are not bound by the order since it is in the form of a suggestion. Now the court snubs the minister and opposition raises a hue and cry in parliament, but what happens?

I'll tell you. There will seem to be some action: some statement from the government side on what it has been and will be doing. Some action against lower-level FCI officials. A letter to States, an all-India level meeting, a monitoring committee, new guidelines on storage, Sonia's NAC will meet and discuss Food Security Bill and advise the government, the Group of Ministers will take a marginal decision... The Centre and states will blame each other. There will be hardly any silos when the next crop comes in about a month and even if storage capacity is increased [as claimed], food will continue to be stored unscientifically. On a larger horizon, agriculturists and companies depending on farm produce will keep making their decisions based on guesswork in absence of a policy guidance. Enormous sums will keep getting wasted on unnecessary subsidy, grain damage, transportation and so on. Country would not benefit from export of grains at high international prices. Private investment will hesitate to come into the farm sector...

What I am saying is not a gross generalisation and frustration with the system. I will soon give you the statistics and bare facts to enable you to see for yourself the rot in the system.

No comments:

Post a Comment