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of Department of Food and Public Distribution (Government of India) (for 2010-11 to 2015-16)
Phase V training of IAS Officers HKS, Boston and LBSNAA, Mussoorie By Dr. J.N.Chamber and Dr. Pramod Kumar Anand
Introduction Section 1 Section 2 Section 3
1 4 6 9
Vision, Mission, Objectives and Functions Assessment of the situation Strategy Core Component 1 Core Component 2 Core Component 3 A Clear statement of the purpose of strategy and the strategy document A Clear statement of the Vision Defining long-term outcome goals and results that are required to achieve the Vision SWOT Analysis
9 10 10
Core Component 4 Core Component 5 Core Component 6
16 17 23
Summary of proposed solutions and policy options
Prioritization of proposed solutions and policy options Proposed Implementation Framework
Core Component 7 Section 4 Section 5 Section 6 Section 7 Implementation Plan
43 43 43 44 46 47
Linkage between Strategic Plan and RFD Cross departmental and cross functional issues Monitoring and Reviewing arrangements
Big Push Required for Success Power of Interaction
Introduction: India, that was relatively a developed country in early 18th century slipped along the slope, and rebounded to acquire the status of developing and now an emerging economy. Notably, India has only world’s 2.5% of land surface area1 but over 17% population2. The country has had a post World War II history of severe food shortages and (the US) PL (Public Law) 480 was a household symbol of its food dependence in 1960s. Some other factors that compound the problem are only about 4% of world water and over 20% livestock population. Green Revolution certainly catapulted India from a net importer to a net exporter (of around 4% of its cereal production) by 2001-02. This could be possible due to use of HYVs, increase in irrigated area from hardly 23% in 1965 to 50%, and in yield per hectare from 7.70 qtl to 19.46 quintal. The production of cereals rose from 72.1 million tonnes (mt) in 1964-65 to 186.4 mt in 2003-04 and further to wheat production of 80.58 mt and rice production of 69.45mt in 2009-10 (down from 99.15 rice production in 2008-09 due to drought). Some major problems still remain on the food front as the per capita net output of cereals that grew rapidly from 110.4 kg in 1951 to 166.1 kg in 1984, has stagnated; green revolution needs to be made evergreen and to encompass all regions and seasons of the country. Under this background a Strategy Paper for the department of Food and Public Distribution is chalked out keeping in view Annual Report, RFD, Outcome budget etc., as follows.
Ranks 7th after Russia, Canada, the US, China, Brazil and Australia in that order. 2 Ranks 2nd after China.
DEFINING THE ASPIRATIONS Section 1: Vision, Mission, Objectives and Functions: Vision: To ensure food security and nutrition to all the citizens of India at affordable prices Mission:
i. Management of food economy and nutritional needs of the country through efficient procurement, foreign trade, storage and distribution of foodgrains including pulses ii. Ensuring availability of foodgrains, sugar and edible oils through appropriate policy instruments iii. Making foodgrains accessible at reasonable prices, especially to the weaker and vulnerable sections of society
iv. To create and nurture institutions, as Moore states, “I recognize that one can view managerial performance as a dependent variable and institutional structures as the independent variable.3”
Portions added by the authors to Ministry’s Vision and Mission are underlined above.
1. To utilize FRP (Fair and Remunerative Price) Policy, in consultation with concerned, to boost agricultural production to meet aims of Food Security Act on its enactment and export cereals and sugar
Moore, Mark H., “Creating Public Value- Strategic Management in Government”, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, pp 3,
2. To ensure Procurement of wheat, rice /paddy and coarse grains for Central Pool, and by assisting decentralized procurement under Price Support operations 3. Ensure availability of wheat, rice, pulses and edible oil to meet
requirement of TPDS and other welfare schemes and of sugar for BPL families 4. Ensure food security and nutritional standards in the country especially for the weaker and vulnerable sections of society through TPDS 5. To endogenize ‘ratoon’ nature of sugarcane in sugar policies making these long-term and become an assured exporter of sugar 6. Timely creation of required storage capacity for foodgrains
Functions: Major functions of the department are as follows:
1. Procurement of foodgrains 2. To ensure adequate availability of wheat, rice, pulses and sugar to meet requirement of TPDS and other welfare schemes 3. Ensure food security and nutritional requirements in the country especially for the weaker and vulnerable sections of society through TPDS 4. Export, Import and release sugar sector and review of sugar policy 5. To ensure proper storage and transportation for foodgrains, with cooperation of States and private sector
Section 2: Assessment of the situation 2 A. What external factors will impact us:
i. The Department has a strong political commitment to enact Food Security Act ii. Commitment to achieve goals and open mindedness on foreign trade iii. Usually, the Opposition Parties too do not oppose these policies, nature of these policies being welfare, lest the Opposition Parties might face the wrath of the people and thereby the voters iv. Since food distribution depends on the production, the Department has a strength in having a common Cabinet Minister with the Ministry of Agriculture v. Declaration of MSP and Sugarcane prices
i. Full commitment of Finance Ministry ii. Mounting food subsidy bill iii. Adverse impact of global subsidies against exports iv. Inflation, exchange rates, global slowdown
i. Male household head dominated society (but for some areas) ii. Food wastage on community free feast on death etc. iii. A rich culture to help a family out of starvation iv. Food and cooking habits
i. India a big IT player ii. Introduction of UID iii. Wherewithal to implement Multi-application Smart Card Scheme, GPS etc. iv. e-governance like introduction of computerized PDS shops
i. Over use of fertilizers ii. Depleting water table iii. ‘Ussar’ (saline and alkaline) formation iv. Climate change, global farming and opportunity to earn carbon credits v. Ever increasing SPS standards by developed world
i. Prior to enactment of Food Security Act, adequate machinery not in place ii. Transparency due to RTI iii. Improvement of natural resources like rainwater and surface water harvesting through MGNREGA iv. Consumer laws, labour laws, low taxation 2 B . Who are our stakeholders? i. ii. iii. Farmers Beneficiaries States and UTs
iv. v. vi. vii.
Other Ministries, PSUs and institutions, RBI, Railways, planning Commission Sugar mills FPS shops owners and operators Entrepreneurs and Private Investors and other players
2 C. What are our strengths and weaknesses? Some major strengths are: i. ii. iii. High public attention for good work and political support Generally self-sufficient in wheat and rice and frequently in sugar (though not at present) Vast Infrastructure – FCI and CWC, PSUs. Network of Godowns and Distribution Outlets spread across the country for reaching out to beneficiaries iv. v. Services rendered are essential services Budget allocation available for subsidy operations
Some major weaknesses are: i. Decision making – More time spent on fire fighting than formulation and implementation of policy ii. iii. Ghost cards, poor targeting, and leakages of food grains in PDS Lack of a comprehensive database to ensure transparency and
accountability of TPDS operations iv. v. Inadequate storage facilities Financial weakness: High subsidy outgo, little generation of revenues by the department except collection of issue price and a sick unit named HVOC for which a decision is pending
Till date inadequate use of IT at field level and related inadequate skills
2D. What do we need to learn? i. Advance scientific knowledge of domestic sowing, global sowing, likely glut or shortages ii. How to make multi seasonal FRP announcements by CACP possible iii. Pockets in country devoid of food stocks iv. Monitoring of stocks, storage and distribution v. How to timely dispose of old grains in time vi. Skill requirements and development of innovative tools and gap analysis
Section 3: Core Strategy This section is the heart of the paper and intra alia encompasses at length potential strategies, engagement of stakeholders, building of our knowledge and capabilities and setting out priorities out of various options crystallized:
1. Core Component 1: A Clear statement of the purpose of strategy and the strategy document For a central department like the Department of Food and Public Distribution, the word 'Strategy' means to chalk out priorities and plans to achieve goals in an efficient manner i.e. in time and maintaining a high degree of quality. Credibility of the department needs to be built further in the eyes of the last man in a remote corner of the country to assure him that in time of need; help would come,
ensuring his food security.
The planks of this strategy are to generate an
environment for high levels of production and imports if need be, to make it physically reach across the vast country and to provide it to the beneficiaries maintaining quality, and to export surpluses. Timely investments are key to any viable strategy and investment in sustainable development is the touch stone of it.
2. Core Component 2 A Clear statement of the Vision: Already covered in Section 1.
Core Component 3: Defining long-term outcome goals and results that are required to achieve the Vision:
The department has a wide range of outcome goals of which major ones are as follows: i. Enactment of the National Food Security Act: This goal aims to guarantee through an Act, a provision to provide wheat and rice at affordable prices to BPL households. The bill could not be placed in the parliament during the winter session. It is aimed to place it during Budget Session and put an Act in place, with the help of concerned, by end of May 2011. The annual cost of implementing the Act is difficult to estimate as full facts would be known only once it is enacted, still some broad estimates are between Rs 76,720 crore (US $ 16.5 billion) and Rs 1,07,000 lakh crore (US
$ 23 billion). This compares with the Rs. 55, 578 cr budget target for food subsidies in fiscal year 2010-11, which is likely to be significantly exceeded. The range of food grain quantities doing rounds is 25 kg or 35 kg of grains each month to poor households. It is foreseen that the Act will protect over 400 million poor in India from near starvation, but a rise in subsidies could hit India's plan to cut down its fiscal deficit to 4.1% of GDP by 2012-13 from the 5.5% expected this fiscal year. It is aimed to get the bill enacted, keeping reasonable levels of food subsidy outgo.
Better Nutrition for masses: To focus on better nutrition for masses, especially people Below
Poverty Line by spreading awareness for consumption of food items giving proteins and vitamins besides carbohydrates. Besides, for lactating mothers and children their need for calcium is also proposed to be included that could be met through consumption of milk/ safe powder milk in coordination with the Department of Women & Child Development. One may recall that Acharya had said to include in food assistance, “…supplementary nutrition dispersion (including micro-nutrients) to infants and expectant/nursing mothers…”.4 The results to be achieved in 5 years are to make at least 90% BPL families aware about these vital food ingredients.
Acharya, S.S., “National Food Policies Impacting on Food Security- The Experience of India, a Large Populated Country”, World Institute for Development Economics Research, UN University, Research Paper No. 2006/70, July 2006.
To achieve this goal proposed solutions suggested are:
a. b. c.
Intensive media campaigns Through involvement of health, ICDS and MDM machinery Through education department by appropriate inclusion in syllabus right from elementary education
Efficient Procurement of wheat, Paddy/ rice, coarse grains and pulses for Central Pool under price support operations; As due to vagaries of nature it is not possible to set targets in advance, it is expected to increase food production by 3% per annum over its secular trend. However, enactment of Food Security Act would entail a much larger volume of procurement, though its actual volume would be known once the level of foodgrains per household5 and coverage of items is finalized by the parliament. Inclusion of pulses is also proposed in this goal as it aims at to meet the goal of better nutrition. Tie up should be made with the Department of Animal Husbandry to enhance availability of milk/ safe milk powder at reasonable prices. These can be distributed at subsidized rates to BPL families in remote areas, as identified by the States, sharing costs with States.
Ensure availability of wheat, rice and pulses to meet requirement of TPDS and other welfare schemes and of Sugar for BPL families: To meet this goal, besides procurement of Wheat and Rice, certain imports of pulses are proposed to be tied up. Hopefully, sugar
Figures of 25 and 25 kg per household are doing rounds among policy makers and media, but the decision would be taken by the Parliament.
production would bounce back in the coming season6. It is also aimed to increase sugar production by 3% per annum, in the secular trend. v. To implement TPDS jointly with States and UTs:
It is aimed to achieve this goal by efficient distribution of foodgrains etc. procured. First in First Out (FIFO) policy should be strictly implemented for each warehouse and not more than 10% of stocks older than end of last season/ year (whichever is more) and none older than 21 months would be kept by ensuring timely releases. vi. Review of sugar sector Policies with a view to Reforms: Keeping in view wide fluctuations in cane production led domestic sugar production fluctuations, it is aimed that in consultation with Ministry of Agriculture, the FRP would be announced for next 2 seasons by 30th June 2011 (at least 3 months before commencement of cane season), and similarly each year for next 3 years. In the last year it would be announced for next 3 seasons to reduce price benchmark uncertainty from the market, commensurate with the ‘ratoon’ nature of crop, giving comparable though diminishing yield after the first season. An analysis7 of sugar production compared to sugar consumption reveals that, while the production has a mean of 20.640 million tonnes the mean consumption achieved was a slightly higher quantity of 21.086 million tonnes. The production was relatively fluctuating with a standard deviation of 5.222 million tonnes. Against it government operations clubbed with market forces stabilized
Landes, Maurice R, “Indian Sugar Sector Cycles Down, Poised to Rebound”, USDA, Economic Research Service, April 2010 pp 1. 7 Computed by Authors for 10-year period ending 2009-10.
consumption and so its standard deviation was notably lower at 2.048 million tonnes. Accordingly, while coefficient of variation of production was a higher 0.253, the coefficient of variation of consumption was well managed at a lowly 0.097. Accordingly, fluctuations in availability of sugar for consumption (Table I) would be reduced compared to in sugar production. The Coefficient of Variation (CV) of sugar consumption would be ensured to be below 40% of the CV of sugar production for 10-year rolling sugar season periods.
India- Sugar Consumption Stabilization Sugar Production (mt) 2000-01 2001-02 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 Mean Standard Deviation Coefficient of Variation 20.480 20.475 22.140 15.150 14.170 21.140 30.780 28.630 16.130 17.300 20.640 5.222 0.253 Sugar Consumption (mt) 17.845 19.760 20.260 19.115 20.385 19.870 22.425 23.500 24.200 23.500 21.086 2.048 0.097
A comprehensive study would also be conducted on various issues within one year. This would also encompass the crucial issue of modernization of sugar industry. It is aimed that in next 5 years all sugar mills older than 25 years would be offered softer credit to modernize to optimum capacities and increase sugar recovery norms by at least 1%. vii. Development of Warehousing Sector: Public and private efforts would be synergized to give a big push to enhance foodgrains, pulses, sugar and edible warehousing capacities by 50% in next 5 years. This is critical to ensure smooth implementation of upcoming Food Security Act. viii. Boost to Edible Oil Sector: In consultation with Ministry of Agriculture, FRP would be announced for any season at least 15 months in advance to facilitate farmers to take allocative decisions. Softer credit would be made available for importers of capital goods for oil extraction.
Decide on the future of Hindustan Vegetable Oils Corporation Limited (HVOC): A final decision should be made to sell to bidder who undertakes to run it or to liquidate it.
Creation of a Sevottam complaint system to implement, monitor and review Citizen’s Charter and to redress and monitor public Grievances:
All grievances should be acknowledged within a maximum period of 10 days of receipt, with an average time of 7 days. Replies should be sent within a maximum period of 4 months with an average of 2 months.
Core Component 4: A SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threat) analysis: The strengths and weaknesses are covered at length in Section 2C. Opportunities and Threats could be existing or come suddenly time and system should recognize within little response time. Some of the major Opportunities are as follows: i. ii. iii. iv. v. vi. To inculcate ethical behavior, IT back up and RTI available Focus on Food Security UID linkage Information boom Economy growing fast Foreign Exchange reserves enough to modernize systems
Some of the major Threats are as follows:
i. Inadequate budgetary releases leading to carry over of liabilities obstructing Supply Chain Management ii. iii. Continuous droughts Fall in soil fertility due to salinity etc.
Continuation of large global subsidies due to Doha Round impasse
Continued leakages and ghost cards Inadequate private warehouse capacity development
Core Component 5: Summary of proposed solutions and policy options Proposed solutions for some of the major challenges are analyzed below:
Challenge I: Maximization of benefits to a representative consumer household for a given level of subsidy Literature is surfeit with analysis of consumer choices and welfare maximization of benefits, for a given level of subsidy. The theory can be extended from an individual consumer to household, and separately analyzing intrahousehold food allocations. It is debated world over how to provide food at cheaper/ economical prices to vulnerable sections of the society. Various existing available solutions can be broadly categorized into one or another of the following: i. PDS (through FPS): Poor households be given a quantity entitlement
to buy foodgrains from a designated point at subsidized rates, like in India from a PDS shop. Usually it is allowed to approach just one point. It is also called direct relief plan.
Food coupons: these coupons (also called as food stamps) be issued
to the eligible households entitling to buy stipulated quantity of foodgrains from anyone of the designated grocery shops/ sellers. This is not a very novice idea, in fact, it was operational during the second World War in the US as ‘Food Stamps Plan’.
iii. Cash subsidy: Thirdly, cash subsidy equivalent to entitlement be
paid in cash or directly credited to bank account of the head of beneficiary household. Thereafter the household adds it to its income and takes a decision about its apportionment on the basket of goods and services that in its opinion are the most welfare maximizing. In fact Brazil is
already doing so.
This raises the fundamental issue as to given the three options what makes a household the most well off?
Non-Food (N) 1,100 C 1,050 1,000 B
P R’ P’
Budget Constraint without food coupon
Budget Constraint with food coupon
Food (F) O 100 (Not to scale) B’ 1,000 C’ 1,100
Figure 1: PDS or Food Coupons or Cash Food Subsidy – Welfare solutions for a representative Household Let us take an example of a 5-member rural household that has a monthly income of say, Rs. 1,000, and is therefore below poverty line8. As depicted in Figure 1, the budget constraint of the household allows it to choose any point within the triangle OBB’ under budget line BB’, in the 2-goods world, food and non-food where the latter numeraire encompasses all non-food goods (and can be built in to subsume services too). Being a rational consumer household, it maximizes its welfare by reaching a point on line BB’, the exact point being where this line is tangential to the highest possible indifference curve 9 i.e. say, at point P
At Rs. 368 per head per month for rural areas, as per 2005-06 estimates of Planning Commission. Marginal rate of substitution being equal to price ratio of food to non-food.
or point R depending upon whether the concerned household was consuming at least Rs. 100 worth of food or not. Options I PDS or Option II Food Coupons: Let us take the case of the household originally at point P of food consumption F < Rs 100. Now let it be given food worth Rs. 100 (or Food coupons worth Rs. 100 per month, raising its budget line to BQC’ as shown in thick. Now we make a strong assumption that arbitrage of exchanging PDS foodgrains or the food coupons is not possible. So it should settle for either point Q (in lieu of P’ which is no more possible), i.e. the kinked point of F = Rs. 100, or a second household type at point P’’ of F > Rs. 100, depending upon which point gives it a higher utility. Option III Cash Subsidy: Alternatively, let the household be given a cash food subsidy of Rs. 100 per month raising its budget line to CC’. It should now opt for point P’ (over Q), as it is the highest possible indifference curve for first type household, or at P’’ for the second type household. Thus his final food consumption (F) could be < Rs. 100 or > Rs. 100 (or as a coincidence exactly Rs. 100 at Q). The actual position would vary households. But given the choice to buy any good utilizing cash subsidy, surely it would not be on an indifference curve below the one that passes through point Q. Alternatively, had it been a third household type, originally at a point R that ensured F > 100, the additional income would catapult it to enhance its consumption of both F and Non-F (both assumed to be Normal goods) and opting for point R’ to maximize its welfare. Now in all the 3 options the third
household type should catapult to point R’ to maximize its welfare, therefore, the outcomes under all the three options would have been identical for R. So one can summarize: i. In case the original food consumption was below the eventual food
worth amount of subsidy (Rs. 100), the final consumption on food could still be lesser than Rs. 100 in case of cash subsidy, but surely higher than Rs. 100 in cases of PDS or food coupon. ii. But under the option of cash subsidy the household would be invariably
at the highest possible indifference curve, maximizing its utility. iii. In case the original food consumption itself was above the eventual food
worth amount of subsidy (Rs. 100), the final consumption on food would remain higher and identical under all the three options. Therefore, though it makes economic sense to grant a cash subsidy instead of distributing food under PDS or giving a food coupon, the three solutions would be further analyzed and prioritized in Core Component 6. A related issue is intra-household food allocation, as female and elderly opt for lower intake, and such a persistent situation leads to their malnutrition reducing resistance to diseases. Challenge II: Ever Increasing level of food subsidies to carry out procurement operations? And how to bear this enormous cost especially in the light of upcoming Food Security Act? Food Subsidy is computed as the difference between the Economic Cost and Central Issue Price (CIP) on TPDS, OMSS, welfare schemes and carrying costs. Economic Cost includes MSP, distribution cost and incidentals. An ever rising
MSP, higher quantities handled and unchanged CIP since 2002 have ballooned the subsidy bill, and if additional costs of implementing food security Act and higher poverty count is accepted it may cross 1.1% of GDP10.
The policy options to keep the food subsidies within 1 to 1.1% of GDP are outlined here, as reduction in absolute amounts is not feasible: i. Increase in CIP for APL ii. Increase in CIP for APL and BPL (excluding AAY, as that is meant for the most vulnerable section) iii. Coverage of larger populations under cash subsidy, saving on portions of storage, transportation and incidentals iv. Indian farmer be allowed to export any foodgrains if remunerative prices are available, to push sowings and yields Challenge III: Calibration of policies for simultaneously stable and sustainable (obviously steadily increasing and not constant) levels of availability of cereals, pulses, sugar and edible oils to address nutritional needs With limited scope in increase in overall area, except through ease ion in gross areas through irrigation coverage, for which Ministry of Agriculture is already making intense efforts alongwith Ministries of Water Resources, Power etc.; trend in reduction of area under coarse grains can be expected over next 5 years. The following feasible policy options are accordingly outlined here: i. Higher area under a crop be encouraged if prices go up
Economic times 2 May 2010.
Focus should be simultaneously on all major crops for medium and long-term periods to ensure food security and nutritional needs
Till enormous subsidies across the globe continue in agriculture sector, India should take advantage of lower international prices and focus on foodgrains and sugar exports
For crops like oilseeds in which India is a perpetual importer long term imports be the policy
Challenge IV: Handling of ever increasing levels of storage and transportation of foodgrains The following policy options are outlined i. Government should make massive investments in storage sector and railway wagons sector ii. iii. iv. Govt. funds and bank credit be leveraged to push storage capacity Private sector be given softer credit to add storage capacity PPP be focused upon taking help of private funding and bank credit
Core Component 6: Prioritization of proposed solutions and policy options: Suggested solutions on Challenge I: Some of the arguments advanced regarding options of PDS or food coupons or cash subsidy are:
Cash subsidy would not be spent on food, as also shown in figure 1 in the
case of one type of household (opting P’), though in another household type (opting P’’) it could be higher as shown in the diagram. Against it the household can maximize its welfare through cash subsidy. ii. In all cases adequate availability of foodgrains and an efficient food
marketing system need to be in place even in remote rural areas. The retailer with a very low turnover may hesitate to accept food coupons. However, if he can claim on real time basis or even if there is a power failure the moment power is restored, it may work. iii. Husbands may grab cash subsidy and blow it up on boozing, adversely
affecting health of the family, besides their own. A counter argument is that though this outcome can’t be ruled out, this argument could be equally advanced against a wage hike or employment under MGNREGA. Moreover, no one can guarantee that food (cheaper) under PDS/ Coupons would not be sold by such a husband to arbitrage for cash. All the more, to reduce such probability the cash subsidy can be credited to the account of an adult female member of the family, if there is one. iv. Option of Cash subsidy would surely cut down on huge storage and
transportation costs, if the consumer is allowed to buy from designated local grocer/grain shop. As a further step if entitlement can be transferred electronically, say by a smart card or mobile phone he can even buy from any farmer, making the system even more efficient. v. It would also cut down on poor quality and sometimes even rotten grains
available under PDS, as household would exercise its choice. Under PDS a consumer is left to suffer whims and fancies of the concerned outlet and the system refuses to compensate him genuine costs and forces to internalize swindling. This can be averted by cash subsidy.
In order to insure worth of food coupons against inflation, these can be for a
fixed food grain quantity and the on-line linkage can be periodically modified so that the outlet approached gets a higher amount covering inflation. In the case of cash subsidy this problem is easier to overcome as enhanced inflation adjusted amounts can be released. vii. Cutting down on PDS operations would also reduce the chances of selling to
FCI etc. and buying cheaper under the PDS, repetitively called ‘revolving door policy’ by some bad elements. viii. Cash subsidy can also avert the cases of fake coupons, though under it
electronic frauds would need to be kept at bay. ix. Some States have already started implementing a project titled
'Implementation of Pilot scheme on Introduction of Smart Card based delivery of essential commodities under TPDS’, through NIC on the initiative of the ministry. Under this pilot project, finger prints are stored on the smart cards. In due course mapping of iris can also be introduced, for better security against leakage. Awareness can be further improved so that stocks with an FPS can be monitored by a back-end server on real time basis. Thus stock position can be gauged though process itself saving on the time, cost and drudgery of data feeding. x. Notably, in India certain States have introduced direct credit of State cash
subsidy to bank accounts of consumers. For instance, UP has recently identified around 25 lac such families, which though eligible for inclusion in BPL lists, were left out because of the cap on number of BPL families i.e. 106.75 lac. Thus, in order to give relief to these families, a pension of Rs. 300 per month per family is now being paid though bank accounts. The prime objective of the scheme known as ‘Mukhya Mantri Garib Aarthic Madad Yojana’ is to cater to the food requirements of the vulnerable families.
In the light of above in the long-term cash subsidy appears to be the best option. However, it needs to be tested on pilot basis in a number of districts. To ensure that no vulnerable family suffers due to such a switchover, it would be desirable to keep 2 to 5 bags of wheat in such villages and local revenue official entrusted the task to take care of any family unable to access it, till Gramin Grain banks are in place. Recent results of biometric identification in RSBY (Rashtriya Swasthaya Bima Yojana) and pilot in Mahatma Gandhi NREGA are encouraging trends in this direction. A one-size-fits all approach to food and nutrition management is not practical. Different areas of the countries would be at different levels of electronic coverage, and undue haste may prove counterproductive. Simultaneously introduction of Smart Cards should be encouraged, with iris identification included and option to approach any outlet including FPS. Coverage under cash subsidy should be increased slowly and steadily in consultation with States and other stakeholders. Simultaneously, it should be linked to UID numbers. As a person can’t have more than one UID number, the first field in such a linkage should be the UID numbers of family members and second field their names followed by age, entitlement etc., to facilitate amount transfer to bank accounts, without any duplication. Suggested solutions on Challenge II: i. Increase in CIP for APL: The policy of non-universal coverage of APL households should be continued to check unabated rise of subsidies. But as a corollary it has further thinned margins, if any of FPS. A game changer can be to allow FPS to sell nonPDS items like any normal shop. It would facilitate to cover overheads and generate positive impact on additional business piggybacking on PDS related
customer visits. Tie up of reputed FMCG and FPS system
can be harnessed to materialize this FPS can become viable and MCG get widespread coverage for their products. Role of PRI and awareness campaigns is also need of the
hour. ii. Increase in CIP for APL and BPL (excluding AAY, as that is meant for the most vulnerable section):
India’s definition of poverty in itself is very poor, as it is below the international yardstick of $ 1 or $ 1.25 or $ 2 a day. Even if discounted for PPP, the number of hungry among countries being highest in India, it needs special efforts. Similarly, Unicef states that “… 47% of young children in India are malnourished, and up to a third of the world's undernourished children are Indian. 11” It is also said in literature that, “Less than 15% of India’s national income comes from agriculture and close to 60% of India’s labor force lives off agriculture. There is little surprise in the fact that India’s rural population leads impoverished lives.12” Under these circumstances though there is scope of increase of CIP for APL it is not much so for BPL (including AAY). Therefore, there is need to keep CIP for APL fixed in real price terms, but not in nominal prices. At the same time people erroneously excluded from BPL and AAY should be included at the earliest.
Website of UNICEF India http://www.unicef.org/india. Basu, Kaushik, Chief Economic Adviser, “The Economics of Foodgrain Management in India”, September 1, 2010.
Coverage of larger populations under cash subsidy, saving on portions of storage, transportation and incidentals
To cut down on food subsidies long term goal of cash subsidy should be launched, as already discussed at length. Government of Delhi seems to be agreeable. Electronic back-end linkages as well as synergy with UID need to be inbuilt in the system.
iv. Indian farmer be allowed to export any foodgrains if remunerative prices are available, to push sowings and yields As per OECD, “Total support to the agricultural sector, combining producer support (the PSE), support for general services to agriculture such as research, infrastructure, inspection, marketing and promotion, as well as subsidies to consumers, was estimated at USD 368 billion (EUR 271 billion) in 2006-0813…”. The level of such humongous subsidies is a big wall of protection, especially in the cases of blue and amber boxes of subsidies. There is utmost need to complete Doha round and reduce or eliminate these subsidies, so that India farmer can compete globally. The priority among these options is to increase CIP for APL, WTO platform led elimination of subsidies, alignment of CIP with real prices and cash subsidies at a large scale though a pilot should be launched at the earliest. These policies would keep subsidy bill within manageable limits without compromising with food security.
Suggested solution on Challenge III:
OECD, “Agricultural Policies in OECD- Monitoring and Evaluation”, 2009.
Higher area under a crop be encouraged if its prices go up It would be a short run policy if aim is to tide over price rise of one
crop, taking advantage of market forces in the case of one crop. However, it is likely to lead to cyclic pattern of gluts and shortages of such a crop and benefit middlemen more than an average famer who has little holding power. It may also lead to distortions amongst crops, and therefore not advisable as a long term policy. ii. Focus should be simultaneously on all major crops for medium and long-term periods to ensure sustainable food security and nutritional needs: To ensure nutrition security under TPDS, pulses and edible oil should be included. Besides, in coarse grain growing regions these should also be included with matching reduction in wheat entitlement. This would also give a shot in the arm of producers of these commodities in dry areas, saving avoidable environmental degradation. In India supply side variations in production of cereals are due to vagaries of nature and even more so in the case of pulses as these are not largely grown in irrigated areas. Moreover, competing change in areas allocated by farmers to sugarcane, cotton and jute also play a vital role. In the short run as pressure of imports of sugar and edible oils have started pinching, there is likely to be an appropriate hike in MSP (or in FRP) of these crops leading to area diversions putting pressure on both cereals and pulses production. A silver lining is that as per existing secular trend some area is likely to be released from coarse grains due to advent of irrigation facilities, and this may be available for foodgrains. But it is of utmost importance that procurement of coarse grains should be an important policy plank and the striking variations in levels of procurement (11.50 and 13.75 lakh tonnes in 2005-06 and 2008-09 respectively against 0.002 and 2.03 in 2006-07 and
2007-08 respectively14) should be avoided in future to help the most vulnerable producer section of foodgrains. Demand for Maize is likely to go up rapidly due to its diversion to bio-fuel, which hopefully would be kept in check in India by resorting to molasses. It is relevant to point out here that while for cereals, sugar, edible oils, cotton etc. large scale imports are economically quite possible (unless stalled politically by exporting countries), it is not so for pulses. These can be largely imported from Australia, where these are largely grown in vast unirrigated areas. Importance of pulses is further enhanced as these are source of proteins for a large segment of Indian population. Good news is that area under pulses has increased to 22 million ha in 2008-09 from under 11.5 million ha in 2000-0115. Food Security: For a large nation like India having a sizeable vulnerable section of consumers, the need for food security need not be over emphasized. To accord impetus to these efforts National Food Security Mission (NFSM) was launched in 2007-08. It was targeted to enhance production of wheat, rice and pulses by 10, 8 and 2 million tonnes respectively. Sometimes increasing levels of procurement of wheat is attributed to its higher MSP, but if that were so, procurement of rice would have increased in tandem commensurate with increase in its MSP. No doubt MSP is an important factor, but weather, attack of diseases and pests, MSP of competing crops, cost of inputs, advent of HYVs, technological advancements, movement of international prices etc. play a vital role in production of foodgrains in India.
Economic Survey 2009-10 pp 200. Economic Survey, 2009-10 pp 184.
Open Market Sales Scheme has helped in checking inflationary trends in food economy16. Accordingly, the policy of allocations to States & UTs, bulk consumers alongwith open tender sales should be continued to stabilize food prices. Notably, a representative farmer is either a subsistence farmer who is not able to contribute to public procurement or a supplier-cum-consumer who disposes of his surplus to the market. In fact both subcategories have a demand as a customer to reach back the market, but little financial wherewithal to convert it into effective demand. The food security should also focus on enhancing production and thereby incomes of all segments of farmers to increase availability and effective demand to avert starvation and malnutrition. And earlier a sizeable population of farmers is brought above BPL the better it is, as in any case they are burdened with the task of giving some employment to agricultural labourers. India should continue to pursue the policy of creating buffer stocks exceeding food security norms set to take care of TPDS and demand for welfare schemes to ensure nutrition. Emphasis on sustainable agriculture should be inbuilt in the policy, like certified organic cereals can also be procured and sold under OMSS. iii. Till enormous subsidies across the globe continue in agriculture sector, India should take advantage of lower international prices and focus on foodgrains and sugar exports:
Presently, FCI is paid on cost plus basis, which needs to be relooked to push production of crops in which India has a comparative advantage. This can be harnessed in case of wheat, rice and (after current shortages are over sugar), as international prices are lower. Though one component of payment could be cost
Economic Survey 2009-10 pp 204.
based (MSP – Issue price, and some indexed costs like rail freight, diesel price etc.) another component linked to efficiencies needs to be introduced. The second component should facilitate to harness economies of scales in years of larger procurements and can be evolved between the Ministry and FCI and an MOU dully signed. An incentive should also be given to employees for exceeding the norms set. This can have two components first a uniform one for each employee and a second one linked to efficiency say, in the related FCI district. Exports in calibrated quantities out of FCI stocks in periods of glut, can make it a vibrant institution. Exports out of some lots of OMSS should also be permitted in case of a glut, of course after duly adding so in the advertisements published by it. Therefore, the policy of long-term focus on all major crops needs to be pursued. Accordingly, FRP for these crops should be announced in one go for more than a year, and in case of sugar cane for say, 3 year This policy is further elaborated below by taking case of sugar. The very nature of long term (3-4 years) annual yields of sugarcane crop after one sowing, diminishes flexibility of growers to take any advantage of demand fluctuations. This pushes the crop to a unique position leading to cyclic glut and shortages, which are passed on to sugar production. For instance in the aftermath of current sugar shortages in India, more area may be put under it (of course by diverting from other crops), still the existing ‘ratoon’ crops sown over 1, 2 and 3 years ago would rule out possibility of a glut17, though the shortages may be overcome for a while. Moreover so, because yields from ratoon crops are on the lower side compared to the currently sown crop.
Though better market prices of sugar and cane prices announced by Government, that are accounted into by sugar mills in increasing their cane prices, would most likely bring the country out of shortage situation.
The very cyclic nature of sugar also deters to make a long-term import or export arrangement in the world sugar trade, for India now a large player, that had 11% of global exports during glut of 2007-08 and 12% global imports during shortages in 2009-10 and even more likely during the current sugar year. For instance, while in 2006-07 and 2007-0818 India looked graduated to be an assured exporter (25 and 58 lakh ton respectively19), it turned into an importer in 2008-09 (10.8 lact ton20) and continued manifold so in 2009-10. The problem is compounded by the very size of Indian demand/ supply, which brackets India in the category of non- price takers. It is also a fact that Indian sugar consumption has continued to expand due to rising per capita incomes and government interventions to adjust stocks, facilitate trade, 10% levy on sugar mills at lower prices, and assure adequate monthly availability21. In the backdrop of above if the country wants to overcome these factors a long-term trade policy could be still planned on the following lines: i. Keeping in view the nature of existing cycle, broad estimates of sugar availability in next season should be made. Sugar mills would need to be involved in this exercise to furnish: a. Area of standing crop b. Its broad classification by the number of years sowing of the standing crop c. Any perceptible change in the likely yield due to weather and improvement in productivity
Years in the context of sugar refer to seasons October-September. Annual Report 2009-10 p 92) 20 Ibid. 21 Landes, Maurice R, “Indian Sugar Sector Cycles Down, Poised to Rebound”, USDA, Economic Research Service, April 2010 pp 2.
This task is made a bit easier by the very fact that cane crop is reasonably (say, compared to cotton) lesser prone to attack of bacteria, pests etc. ii The pricing in the proposed 2-year export/ import contracts be
linked to exogenous sources like prices in future markets. A counterpoint could be that once India decides to enter the sugar market, world price is influenced by the sheer size of a deal, as it is a significant share of world sugar trade. However, it can’t be overlooked as agents in future markets internalize details of standing crops world over. v. The future trade deals should be made in the range of quantities as
discussed above, so that both sides have some flexibility to negotiate exact levels as the time comes. Such arrangements, if made for imports should be made with at least two countries, one in SAARC (say, Pakistan) or ASEAN (say, Indonesia) and another with global suppliers (say, Cuba or Brazil or the USA). Similarly, exports arrangement by India, if surplus is predicted could be with say two large importers in EU. vi. In the short run, the policy of zero duty imports needs to be extended.
Moreover, continued efforts should be made to import raw sugar (under OGL), instead of refined sugar and do value addition in the domestic mills most of which are underutilized. Besides, need to export an equal quantity in good years also helps in crowding out frivolous importers. In a nutshell the policy should not be a prisoner to cyclic variations, but the very nature of cane and sugar cycles need to be closely studied 22 and duly internalized in the policy. It needs to be underscored that, India has a comparative advantage in production of sugarcane, which is why its farmers
For instance a study can be entrusted through National Sugar Institute, Lucknow.
make it world’s number one or two producer of cane. Therefore, rightful mix of policies is the need of the hour to turn it into net exporter of sugar from net importer and restoration of future trading23 for long term price stabilization. Harmony between interests of sugarcane growers, mills and consumers is of essence, as a very low price deeply hurts producers a very high price hurts consumers and can delay payment of cane arrears to growers by mills. iv. For crops like oilseeds in which India is a perpetual importer long term imports be the policy: India has a history of over 2 decades of import of edible oils. So a fundamental question arises whether India should try for self sufficiency in this sector or be reconciled that it does not have comparative advantage in this sector. But the sector has as many as 9 major oilseeds of which in most it does possess comparative advantage in pockets where requisite irrigation is available and appropriate inputs and other policies are in place. Primarily in the long run, if productivity in these pockets can be replicated self sufficiency can be achieved or at least imports can be reduced to minimal levels. The alternative approach of giving relatively very high price to divert area from foodgrains, sugarcane etc. may prove counterproductive as that would lead to higher imports in those sectors. Still with increasing population, per capita demand and better purchasing power in the hands of poorer deciles (who have a higher propensity to consume) higher productivity seems to the only viable mantra. Therefore, sizeable funds need to be invested in R & D of 9 major oilseeds, especially the 3 top among these namely, soybean, rapeseed/mustard seed and groundnut.
Suspended in May 2009.
As import of edible oils can’t be avoided in the short run, there is dire need to enter into long-term import contracts at exogenously determined prices (like average of futures prices of more than one commodity exchange). Minimum quantities that the country is sure to import need to be computed based on recent import trends, sowing etc. Simultaneously, MSP of oilseeds should also be announced for next 1-2 years, to give Indian farmer a chance to raise production so that level of imports beyond the contracted quantity is minimal. When the actual crop seasons arrive, suitable bonus can be added to the MSP announced. On the front of direction of import trade ASEAN countries like Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand can help in cutting down import burden due to lower transport costs and better productivity in some countries. Import of edible oils apart, this would also help in promoting trade under these Regional Trade Arrangements, compared to imports from Colombia, Ecuador etc. unless price differential including transport costs turn out to be significantly in favour of latter. In any planning regarding edible oil imports one can’t overlook that China is an equally large import market having imported 6.2 (all figures in million metric tons in 2009-10), compared to a higher 6.550 by India and comparable 6.150 by EU-27 besides 1.840 by Pakistan, 0.985 by the US, 0.850 by Bangladesh etc. 24 Vanaspati oil import Nepal would surely continue to alleviate Indian import demand. An important development is diversion of edible oils as bio-fuels, which needs to be tackled by pushing molasses based bio-fuels in India. Suggested solution on Challenge IV: i. Government should make massive investments in storage and Railway wagons sector
World Bank, “Development Prospects Group”, November 2009.
Recent observations of Hon’ble Supreme court on some foodgrains rotting for want of storage space were quite embarrassing for the department as well as nation. Even if 0.001 percent rots, it becomes sizable and newsworthy. Some timely conversion to
fortified flour in time and FIFO clubbed with no holdings beyond 21 months is suggested. Scientific management, use of Silos and Auto Stackers can help in timely disposal averting rotting. Open Market Sales
Operations need to be encourages too. More investment is needed in this sector.
Government on its part should enhance allocation to meet Food Security Bill related requirements and take massive help of
NCDC in this sector. However, would it get much funds beyond subsidy bill is not
Anyhow, better security, inspections, scientific practices and quality control of warehouses should be focused. Simultaneously, the Village Bank Scheme can do wonders as: i. ii. It would avert any cases of starvation and check against migration Cut down on transport costs as surplus farmers iii. Push smart card scheme to access foodgrains from an alternative outlet in case of need iv. Ensure better quality as grains can be collected locally and transported minimal distance contributions can be made by
Still investment in railway wagons must be pushed to reduce transportation costs and by signing long-term MOUs. ii. Govt. funds and bank credit be leveraged to push storage capacity Clubbing it with bank credit would definitely help to add more capacity. CWC and State Warehousing corporations should be provided more and softer credit. iii. Private sector be given softer credit to add storage capacity Keeping in view subsidy burden, involvement of private sector should be encouraged. iv. PPP be focused upon taking help of private funding and bank credit: PPP on BOT model should be focused upon taking help of private funding and softer bank credit. On the part of Govt., system of warehousing receipts being negotiable and thereby bankable, as introduced during the XI plan has not yet taken off well. Steps need to be taken to enthuse trust of all
stakeholders. Farmers can be allowed to use part of
their land for warehouse purposes.
Transportation loans for GPS tracked, radio frequency tagged vehicles should be encouraged to private sector. Keeping in view enormous requirements all the 4 options need to be exercised simultaneously.
Engagement of Stakeholders: It is already covered at pages 7 and 8 as to who our stakeholders are. Interaction with them to convert proposed strategy into a reality is spelt as follows:
stakeholders would harness use of IT to make payments electronically to farmers immediately on procurement, as a key to involve them in a big way to produce more and sell surplus for procurement. For this GOI would have to ensure timely releases to States for decentralized procurement so that such States & UTs, very important stakeholders, that have walked out of such procurement can join back. The
involvement of beneficiaries for nutritious items and launching of cash subsidy on pilot basis and wherever some reluctance is seen launching of food coupons would prove very useful. Sugar mills should be allowed softer credit for modernization to energy efficient ones, covering all that are older than say, 25 years. Opportunity of foreign exchange reserves to import modern machinery can be synergized too. FPSs should get SMS on release of food grains to them. Electronically linked Points of Sale (POSs) should be launched too. Railway should be given long run plan of wagons and rake requirements and committed levels of haulage. Warehouses on PPP model are covered at page 38. Synergy with other ministries and PSUs is vital; as opportunity for Agriculture to enhance maize production for use as bio-diesel is also an opportunity for New and Renewable Energy Ministry but a threat to food security. So focus
on molasses as a bio-fuel and much higher maize production should be discussed and planned. Reduction in subsidies through linkage of issue price for APL families to real prices (as no increase of nominal prices has taken place since 2002), reduction in cost of transportation and storage by FCI, through pilots on cash subsidy and where not acceptable, food coupons, corporate governance of FCI for procurement, storage and distribution (as MSP and central issue Prices are not in its hands) can be helpful. In consultation with CACP slightly
conservative 2-year MSP for other than cane and 4 year for cane (to be fine tuned latter by bonus) should be put in place. Some cross departmental and intra
departmental issues are also covered at pages 44 and 45.
Overall prioritization of policies, and as evident, most of them differing from the current ones, are different is as in Table 2.
Table 2: Prioritization of Policies for Sustainable supply of Foodgrains, Sugar and Edible Oils Priority Influence Sequencing Demand Side policies 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Enactment of Food Security Act Cash Subsidy Food Coupons Increase in CIP for APL Edible oils- long- term contracts High High High High Medium High High High High Medium Short Run Medium Run Short Run Short Run Medium
Supply Side Policies 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. Reduction of global Agricultural Subsidies FRP Announcement for a no. of seasons Sugar export longterm contracts Restoration of Future trade in sugar Inclusion of milk powder in PDS PPPs for warehouses High Medium Medium Medium High Medium High Medium Medium Medium High High Low Medium Run Long Run Medium Run Long Run Medium Medium Term Medium –
Sustainable cropping High like certified organic be sold under OMSS
Core Component 7: Proposed Implementation Framework
This is covered in the ensuing section at length. Section 4: Implementation Plan i. As nutrition security is being suggested, implementation plan would have to create wherewithal to endogenize it. Till date milk powder has not been taken on board, therefore sourcing of it across the country through open tenders and after checking its quality are backbone of this plan. Inclusion of coarse cereals out of procurement would be implemented by involving producer and consumer States. ii. Implementation of provision of pulses and edible oil, latter by open global bids would be part of the plan. iii. Projects to operate smart cards, food coupons, cash subsidy would be implemented making full use of technology. iv. Implementation of Citizen Charter, and Sevottam compliance would be through a special monitoring cell in liaison with all wings and PSUs v. Stakeholders would be involved at all stages of implementation. Section 5: Linkage between Strategic Plan and RFD The Department is institutionally not in a position to estimate ever increasing availability of foodgrains, sugar, edible oils etc. inspite of its and Ministry of Agriculture’s best efforts due to vagaries of nature. It may or may not be possible to break the records of previous best production, say, in case of rice.
But a bigger problem is that keeping this fact in mind the RFDs may include annual targets far below potential of the department. Secondly, targets under RFD for coming years, especially once Food Security Act is put in place, would need a mid-year revision to meet the bigger challenges. It is also opined that for the Department besides large numbers, aversion of any starvation deaths needs to be included in the RFD. Successful distribution of million of tonnes of foodgrains can be tarnished by a single starvation death, so to avert these should be included in RFD. This would give requisite boost to reach of foodgrains, pulses, nutrition etc. and especially establishment and working of Gramin Grain banks, besides the suggestion made in this paper to keep some foodgrains available in each village. Otherwise RFD would not be in sync with MDGs and reduction of malnutrition. Annual indicators under RFD should be placed on website and monthly updated. Reviews at the level of Minister and Secretary in field, inviting stakeholders, especially beneficiaries, would be required too.
Section 6: Cross departmental and cross functional issues 6 A. Identification and management of cross departmental issues i. A major issue is amount of FRP (MSP), and as to how much in advance can it be announced. This policy can imbibe vision to boost production and tie up global trade. It can be managed through periodic meetings. ii. Information on likely production of crops as per satellite imagery and through Ministry of Agriculture is equally vital. FAO reports can prove useful too besides deliberations and publications by International Grains council, agencies like UNICEF, USDA etc.
iii. Role of the department of Consumer Affairs in identifying grievances is equally crucial. iv. On Nutritional matters issue of assessment of situation with the help of Department of Health, ICDS and MDM is also vital. v. Environmental issue of arresting degradation with the help of MOEF and its restoration through schemes of MRD is an issue to help sustenance. vi. The Department would need to address the issue of high subsidies in a more responsible manner and share it with MoFinance. vii. Better rakes from railways needs to be taken up as a very important longterm view, and quality retention should be part of this interaction. 6B. Cross functional linkages within department/ offices i. Development of a regime of transparency and accountability also leads to making officials play very safe. Creation of room for fresh ideas needs to be encouraged to benefit from combined wisdom. ii. Storage of edible oils cuts across two wings of the department and so also export of sugar. These issues need co-operation and discussions at the level of the Secretary. iii. FCI, CWC related policy needs a lot of interaction, giving of studies and discussions with all stakeholders. iv. Effectiveness of offices and to enhance it through use of IT and incentives is an equally important issue. 6 C. Organizational Review and Role of agencies and wider public i. Role of the Department as an efficient and ever vigilant organization needs to be built. Interactions in the field with academicians, growers, consumers, FPS owners etc. can be of immense use. ii. An ongoing review of FCI is vital and its efficiencies need to be made measurable as suggested in this Paper.
Revamp of CWC to give room to Private Sector, though its competitor would go a long way. CWC funds can be leveraged for increase in storage capacity in Public sector as well as in Private or Joint sector. PPP models are also likely to be useful.
As already covered, a final decision about HVOC should be taken, trying to benefit from its infrastructure and knowledge, even if parted to private hands.
Section 7: Monitoring and Reviewing Arrangements: Monitoring Arrangements: i. With the advent of RFD, it should be used as an effective tool to monitor rather as a new layer of work. However, it is imperative that RFD be prepared to make the Department as a vibrant, efficient and credible organization. ii. Periodic monitoring, including regional meetings by the Hon’ble Minister/ MOS and officials would be made. In addition the following can be arranged in consultation with States, NIC, C-DAC, UIDAI and private agencies: iii. On-line monitoring of releases by FPS to the consumer may seem to be a cherished goal. Surely, it needs to be introduced in as many cases as possible. iv. Review through introduction of Smart cards and Food coupons to facilitate better coverage of these instruments. v. Monitoring of GPS tracked trucks, Radio frequency tagged vehicles on un-manned barriers to cut down on leakages
Detection of ghost ration cards using biometric and UID wherever possible
Assessment of benefits accrued to public viv-a-vis amount released/ spent by the govt. on random basis, by engaging third party monitors.
Toll free numbers, Records of SMSs received, responses and feedback on the website to be monitored for logical conclusion.
Studies should be assigned to reputed institutions on important issues and developments to review the critical policy issues and tasks.
Issue specific brainstorming sessions should be held to review policies.
Functioning of the Department and State Governments would be reviewed on periodic basis in the Department and field.
Steps to reduce response time to monitoring feed-back from public. Review of whether adequate information is being placed in public domain as per preamble and spirit of RTI ct.
Power of Interaction- Big Push Required for Success: A big push across the departments and all stakeholders is a must to remain afloat around 10% GDP growth level. In fact the strategic changes proposed in this paper, like inclusion of nutrition, cash subsidy and smart cards linked to UID, costlier PDS for APL, transforming FCI into an efficient corporate entity, PPP in storage, announcement of FRP (or MSP) for longer period, long-term export-import contracts can’t succeed in isolation, for instance threat of use of maize as biofuel is another ministry’s opportunity.
Advent of Food Security Act as a big game changer like RTI and MGNREGA needs open minded changes in policies. against various variables is vital to the success aspired for. ***** Interaction term