ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Public Provisioning for Social Protection and Its Implications for Food Security

Persistent hunger and pervasive malnutrition are serious problems in the developing world. Recent literature suggests that well-designed public policies towards provisioning of social protection/security and strengthening of support measures to smallholder agriculture appear to be effective in reducing hunger and malnutrition. An investigation of the role of public provisioning on social protection in combating hunger using the recent evidence for 64 countries in the global South makes a strong case for a substantial push in public provisioning in favour of social protection, which, along with other policy measures, could play a vital role in strengthening national food security. Further, low levels of per capita income must not become an excuse for addressing the most basic human needs, as adequate fiscal space can be created even at low levels of income.

Budget Transparency and Participation

In a formal sense, the Government of India provides considerable transparency in the budget process, but in a substantive sense, public participation is very limited. The Fourteenth Finance Commission has the opportunity to recommend true budget transparency, accountability and participation.

Securing Food for All

Despite many valid recommendations put forward by relevant committees as well as by independent researchers, the public distribution system continues to suffer from several inherent and systemic fl aws. Instead of addressing the problems encountered by the present system, policymakers are again attempting to resort to another version of targeted provisioning. By assessing important implications relating to various dimensions of the proposed National Food Security Bill 2011, this article focuses on the issues of fi nancing for ensuring reasonable food security for all in the country.
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