Rozi-Roti Sandharbh Kendra Jaipur

2nd October 2013

Note No. 3: 2nd October 2013 Rajasthan Launches NFSA
With full page advertisements in local as also select national daily news-papers [for instance The Hindu], Chief Minister of Rajasthan formally launched the NFSA in the state at 11 AM on 2nd October 2013 at the historic place Nagaur Panchayat Samiti where, if my memory does not fail me, on 2nd October 1959 the then Prime Minister Pt Jawahar Lal Nehru had launched first in India Panchayati Raj Programme. The advertisement claims that the Rajasthan is the first state for having implemented the NFSA in India. The advertisement claims: a) Till now, the wheat was being distributed to the BPL, SBPL and AAY families only. Now lacs of APL families (called priority families) would also get it. Now food security is ensured to 90 lakh families compared to 40 lakhs earlier b) 38.83 lakh families covered earlier under BPL/SBPL/AAY and Antyodaya would be getting wheat at rupees one per kilo c) BPL and SBPL would get 25 kg per month if the number of family members is up to five and five kilo extra for each additional member. Thus if a family in question has eight members the entitlement would be 40 kilos but if a family has only three members entitlement would continue to be 25 kg. d) Government of India has allocated 2.32 MT of wheat per month which is 52,000 MT more than what was allotted earlier e) “From 20.102013 to 31.10.2013 the priority households, identified for the first time will be distributed 5kg of wheat per person @ Rs 2.00 per kg.” Thus it is obvious that Rajasthan government has already identified estimated nine million beneficiary households under the NFSA (See point e) above- quoted from the advertisement). Out of these 38.83 lakhs are the same old TPDS beneficiaries and rest called priority households are within APL. What exactly is the ground reality with regard to above claims? In this brief note I critically examine the veracity of the above claims on the basis of the government data only. In my first note I in some detail have already raised questions regarding the selection criteria and the process and likely impact of the same on the food security of most poor, marginalized and vulnerable sections of the society. This note is in addition to that and going by the government data it seems that my apprehensions may prove right and the very purpose of NFSA may get defeated to some extent at least if not on large extent due to large inclusion/exclusion errors. On 29th September 2013, the Rajasthan government released data on the district-wise beneficiaries both in terms of households and units. The analysis of the data presents a bizarre scenario. One wonders if the data are true. If they are then I have absolutely no words to say anything. The reader may judge for herself. I have used the following data sets in my analysis. (a)The 29th September data put on the website www.food.rajasthan.in . This data provide for rural and urban areas by district information about eligible households, units, district-wise entitlement and allocation of wheat for AAY and others. (b) 2012-13 data about the number of cards of different categories and allotment by central government to Rajasthan- this data is available in 2012-13 progress report and other allotment letters. (c) NFSA provisions as per the Act. (d) Census 2011 data about population and households. All the sources are original.

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Rozi-Roti Sandharbh Kendra Jaipur On Coverage and Allotment under NFSA

2nd October 2013

The union government has allotted, as is claimed above (point d), 2.32 lakh MT of wheat per month. It is claimed that it is 52,000 MT more than earlier. This is not true. In 2012-13 the total per month central allotment was 201371.5 MT. Thus additional monthly allotment is only to the tune of 31,000 MT and not 52,000 as has been claimed. The additional quote is thus about 15.41% more compared to 2012-13 monthly average allocation. One has to understand how with 15% additional allocation the number of beneficiaries would increase by more than double from 38.83 lakh to 90 lakh families. The fact now is that out of 127 lakh APL families only about 50 lakhs would get benefit and rest none. Earlier the needy APL families were entitled to get benefit of 10kg fortified wheat flour on first come first served basis. And now 77 lakh APL card holders stand deprived of any benefit under NFSA. True, the 50 lakh would now get ensured supply of 5 kg per person per month. The selection process therefore becomes very vital. Who are these selected 50 lakhs and deprived 77 lakhs? We shall further examine this little later. The Union government allocated grains as per the NFSA entitlement. The state government orders of allotment suggest that allocation to districts has been 91.8% of the total central allocation. And this is for three months (Table 1). Above we noted that the state government has claimed that beneficiaries have already been identified and they would be given Table 1: Allotment of wheat under NFSA- Oct-Dec 2013 ( In MT) Urban Rural Total wheat between 20th to 31st October. Category 1 2 3 4 This means the allocation is based on the belief that the lists of AAY 3730 28896 32626 beneficiaries are final. This would Others 31280 149109 180389 also mean that there would be Total 35010 178005 213015 surplus of about 19 MT every Total allotment by Union Govt 232000 month. Put in other terms Rajasthan Difference in receipt and allocation 18985 does not need full quota because 8.2 there are not enough eligible Diff in percentage 91.8 persons. If yes, the state % allocation government should return the extra allocation. If no than obviously the selection process is yet not complete as has been claimed.
Table: 2: Eligible Households and Units By NFSA and Selection for Urban and Rural areas Household and unit figures are in lakhs BHH OE Average units per Region HH BHH 1 Urban Rural Total Notes BHH stands of beneficiary count of households upon completion of selection under NFSA OE stands for official count of eligible units upon completion of selection under NFSA EHH stands for eligible households. EHH figures calculated by dividing the EU by Av units per BHH EU stands for eligible units under the NFSA AB stands for Actual beneficiaries as per NFSA stipulations 2 15.8 95.2 111 3 69.1 446.5 515.6 4 4.37 4.69 4.65 NFSA Quota EU AB 5 90 356 446 6 70 356 426 Diff in OE and AB EHH 7 20.58 75.90 96.48 Households 8 4.78 -19.30 -14.52 Units 9 20.9 -90.5 -89.6

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Rozi-Roti Sandharbh Kendra Jaipur

2nd October 2013

Table 2 further suggests that the allocation is on the assumption that it should be strictly in terms of NFSA stipulations of coverage in the concerned areas. Inter-region transfer i.e. from rural to urban and vice versa in allocation is not possible. As per the table the rural eligible beneficiaries are much more than the NFSA quote- a whopping 90.5 lakh units extra- 446.5 lakhs compared to quota of 356 lakhs. On the contrary in urban areas the beneficiary units are only 69.1 lakhs compared to quota of 90 lakhs. But the allocation for urban areas for 70 lakhs and in rural areas it is only for 356 lakh units. Thus there is an unallocated surplus to the tune of 19 MT a month. The extra wheat requirement for the 90 lakh extra units would be 45,000 MT per month. How this extra wheat would be arranged? The state government has not demanded extra wheat from the central government. This is an issue of serious concern which totally stands overlooked by the government. How these people who are part of roughly 19.3 lakh rural families would get benefit of NFSA is wide open question. By allocation it is obvious that they are not going to get benefit. Who these left out families would be? Again either there is serious problem with the data or eligible beneficiaries or the selection process is yet not complete as has been claimed by the state government. This clearly shows the casual unprofessional approach of the state government in implementation of the NFSA. The wide range of variation in eligibility across districts Table 3 compares data about the coverage of eligible households and population with Census 2011 data of households and population. The results seem unbelievable. They really put a big question mark on the entire process of selection. Though the Table is self-explanatory yet for the convenience of the reader I briefly put some of the stunning findings below: The range of population varies from 33.86% in Kota to whopping 111.47% in the nearby district of Baran which actually was the part of Kota district not very long ago and falls in Kota division. Jhalawad and Bundi which are also adjacent to Kota and are part of the Kota division have reported coverage of 98.25 and 84.06 percent respectively. Thus there is wide variation within a division which is part of the same agro-climatic zone. There are actually three districts which reports over 100 percent coverage. The other two are Dungarpur (108.15) and Pratapgarh (107.52). The range shows the population percentage coverage is in sixties for five districts, seventies for seven, eighties for nine and nineties for five. (Table 3 Column 6) The comparison between Census households and eligible households is also equally varied ranging from 39.85 percent in Kota to over 113 percent in Pratapgarh. (Table 3 Column 7) The baffling issue is the contradictory relation between coverage of population and households (Table 3 Columns 6 and 7). Logically the proportion of coverage for the two categories should have been the same. However some difference could be there due to differences in family size. The overall scenario appears quite contradictory. There are several districts wherein the percentage coverage of households is much higher compared to population. For instance, in Ajmer the two ratios are 57.79 and 86.84 respectively. On the other hand there are several districts where the percentage coverage of households is less than the population coverage. In Baran district the two ratios are 111.47 and 103.88. Also there are district where there is no difference between the two ratios. The two ratios for Pali district are 73.33 and 73.12 respectively. What do we infer from the above analysis of data sets? What conclusion can we draw?

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Rozi-Roti Sandharbh Kendra Jaipur Conclusions

2nd October 2013

The process of selection is arbitrary and incomplete: The first set of data released by the government of Rajasthan testifies to my earlier observations regarding the implementation of NFSA in the state. The data clearly indicate that the government implemented without any preparation. The implementation process is arbitrary and by no means complete. The state government seems to have had no control over the process and accordingly there have been no uniform compliance with the criteria. For food security of most needy universalisation is essential but not sufficient: In the given socio-economic and political scenario, legal right in TPDS cannot be implemented in a proper way in Rajasthan or similarly placed states. The ultimate impact of this would be on the poor and marginalized who are voiceless and hopeless. Universalisation thus appears to be the one answer. However even that may not be sufficient given the process problem that ask for supporting documents which may not be available with many needy families. Now that the food card has been delinked with any other benefit, I think time has now come to provide food card without any proof of any kind. The only thing need to be ensured is that there are no two cards issues in the name of same person. Reaching out to excluded is inevitable Market economy demands that one is well-informed and takes right decision at the right time. This is not possible in reality even for well educated and informed persons. Therefore poor, marginalized and victimized people are unlikely to demand for food card or for any facility. The society would have to reach to them. For this special efforts would be required in collaboration with concerned civil society representatives- be they institutional or individuals. To leave out existing BPL families benefit under the NFSA appears politically not feasible The existing BPL families are the declared poor by the rural development department. The problems with the list are universally known. Yet neither the current list has been revised on the basis of latest 2011 SECC nor has any attempt been made to draw an altogether fresh list on the basis of different parameters. Select databases are available including the SECC data, Census data etc. They have not been used. When the RTFC representatives met the principal secretary rural development of Rajasthan he said that the SECC data have not been released by the rural development ministry and they are unlikely to be available before November 2013. But is this the reason for not attempting a fresh list and for the state Rajasthan or other states to have chosen to implement NFSA based on the faulty BPL lists? Answer is big NO! The reason lies in the political viability as referred to in my earlier note. Indeed, logically it is rather difficult to deny BPL the benefits without revising the list. But in reality it was very much feasible to do so because the food scheme is to be implemented by the food department and the BPL list is by the RD department. The food department based on the criteria could have drawn a separate beneficiary list. Unfortunately however, the job of selection of beneficiaries was entrusted not to food department but to rural development department. They could not go beyond their own data bases.

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Rozi-Roti Sandharbh Kendra Jaipur

2nd October 2013

Table: 3: Proportion of Identified Population and Households Beneficiaries under NFSA District Total Households as per Census 2011 Total population as per Census 2011 Average Census Family Size Difference in Census and Identified Family size 5 1.75 0.89 -0.03 -0.37 1.07 0.83 0.96 1.25 0.68 0.67 1.23 0.31 0.46 0.14 0.54 0.53 1.19 1.85 0.44 0.52 1.11 1.06 -0.04 0.74 0.46 -0.01 0.25 0.22 1.66 1.01 0.08 0.67 0.50 0.74 Proportion of identified beneficiaries in Census population Proportion of identified beneficiary families in Census HH 7 86.84 92.64 83.34 103.88 108.92 76.98 85.84 94.23 97.23 95.14 87.14 101.58 99.33 111.23 80.30 96.05 73.11 106.49 80.78 109.67 43.32 81.00 90.21 39.85 96.64 73.12 113.32 88.19 89.86 98.46 89.78 91.91 101.09 87.32

1 Ajmer Alwar Banswara Baran Badmer Bhartpur Bhilwara Bikaner Bundi Chittor Churu Dausa Dholpur Dungarpur Ganganagar Hanumangarh Jaipur Jaisalmer Jalor Jhalawad Jhunjhunu Jodhpur Karauli Kota Nagaur Pali Pratapgarh Rajsamand Sikar Sirohi Sawaimadhopur Tonk Udaipur Total

2 494832 639720 367797 241428 451629 425414 498125 384944 220768 329119 348984 292502 203754 282029 387511 336192 1177096 117171 326134 283295 384197 649013 262503 396501 578809 418157 178726 243078 444816 201785 254716 266870 623531 12711146

3 2583052 3674179 1797485 1222755 2603751 2548462 2408523 2363937 1110906 1544338 2039547 1634409 1206516 1388552 1969168 1774692 6626178 669919 1828730 1411129 2137045 3687165 1458248 1951014 3307743 2037573 867848 1156597 2677333 1036346 1335551 1421326 3068420 68548437

4 5.22 5.74 4.89 5.06 5.77 5.99 4.84 6.14 5.03 4.69 5.84 5.59 5.92 4.92 5.08 5.28 5.63 5.72 5.61 4.98 5.56 5.68 5.56 4.92 5.71 4.87 4.86 4.76 6.02 5.14 5.24 5.33 4.92 5.39

6 57.79 78.31 83.89 111.47 88.69 66.34 68.87 75.10 84.06 81.66 68.81 95.99 91.68 108.15 71.83 86.44 57.71 72.05 74.48 98.25 34.64 65.87 90.83 33.86 88.85 73.33 107.52 84.10 65.01 79.08 88.48 80.29 90.80 75.30

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