Free Food Grains: Need Comprehensive Survey On Poverty

More than 80 crore poor people of the country will now continue to get 5 kg free food grains for the next 5 years.

Prime Minister Modi himself has announced this during the Chhattisgarh election campaign.

This scheme is under the National Food Security Act and is also a part of the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana. 

This scheme was implemented for only three months during the Corona global pandemic, but its deadline has been extended for the sixth consecutive time.

Is it a coincidence or politics that whenever the period of distribution of free grains was extended, some election was looming.

Through this scheme, the Prime Minister and the BJP have created a beneficiary class which votes in their favor only.

The beneficiary role of other schemes is also being strengthened. In fact, the period of free grains was extended to January 2023 this year, because Karnataka assembly elections were in May.

The period was extended in December, 2021, because assembly elections were to be held in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa, Manipur from February, 2022. Barring Punjab, BJP won in all the remaining states and formed governments.

The period of distribution of free grains in November, 2020 was extended to June, 2021, as there were elections in Bengal, Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry in March-April, 2021. BJP lost in big states like Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu.

Is it not a ‘violation of the code of conduct’ to announce this scheme before every election?

Since the scheme has been running continuously froM 6 2020, is the Prime Minister free to announce an extension in the deadline at any occasion?

 Of course this scheme is ‘national’, but the average voter in the election areas is affected to some extent.

 However, the Election Commission will ponder over these questions and if it feels necessary, it will also inform the country. Actually, there are many provisions for providing food grains in the National Food Security Act.

The aim is that no citizen should sleep hungry. An honest survey of this should also be done. The Below Poverty Line section is allotted 5 kg of food grains per family member every month at subsidized rates.

Apart from that, 5 kg of free grains are provided every month. It contains wheat, rice, one kg pulses or gram, salt etc.

The Government of India has already spent lakhs of crores of rupees on subsidy on this food grain. Top administrative officials of the government have warned Prime Minister Modi about the economy.

Despite that, this time the period of free grains has been extended for full 5 years. This will increase the burden of additional subsidy by Rs 2 lakh crore per year.

The Prime Minister considers subsidies as trivial compared to the welfare of the poor and feeding every stomach. This expenditure will be added to the budget of the upcoming financial year. This is an issue on which the opposition and the intellectual class question, but are not able to oppose fiercely, because it is an issue related to the hunger and food grains of more than 80 crore citizens. This also reveals contradictions in the claims of poverty alleviation.

The Prime Minister has been claiming that his government has taken more than 13.5 crore people out of poverty, whereas the Sarkaryavah (General Secretary) of the RSS has given it’s assessment that even today there are about 23.5 crore citizens in the country who are not paying Rs. 375 per day. Unable to even earn money. Actually, the women and men who go to get free grains are all very poor, it is not so.

Women work in homes and factories. The man is definitely doing some work. Their minor children also work as daily wages at local shops and dhabas. Therefore, Modi government should conduct a comprehensive survey on poverty on priority basis.

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