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

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NICARAGUA-Significant Agreement

nearly twice the present level of around Rs 2,200 crore. So whatever else 'better targeting' of foodgrain supplies through the public distribution system may achieve, it will certainly not mean, contrary to what is suggested by the Economic Survey, a reduction of the quantity of foodgrains which would have to be bought and distributed by government agencies and the amount of food subsidy which would have to be borne by the government. This should have been obvious enough to anyone. Why then does the Economic Survey suggest otherwise and put itself in a position where it can be so easily caught out? The answer is quite simple. What the authors of the Economic Survey actually wish to advocate is that the coverage of the public foodgrain distribution system, which is woefully inadequate as it is, should be further curtailed so that the amount of food subsidy that the government has to bear can be reduced. However, they obviously do not want to say something so patently un-progressive- sounding. So instead they suggest that the public distribution system should be "more carefully targeted to reach families living below the poverty line"! Since not for a moment do theymean what they say, they do not have to bother about the implications. A tittle careful scrutiny will show so many of the government's radical-sounding affirmations to belong to this genre.

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