ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Why Not a Universal Food Security Legislation?

The National Advisory Council has given its final proposals on the proposed National Food Security Act. A government-appointed committee (the Rangarajan Committee) has also given its response to these proposals. Both these proposals agree on the desirability of a universal nfsa but finally propose targeting at the poor as defined by the Tendulkar Committee. This has been justified in view of the constraints set by foodgrain procurement and management. This paper argues that a universal nfsa is not only desirable, it is also a more efficient and feasible way to ensure food security for all. While presenting a critique of some of the assumptions made by these two proposals, this paper also offers an alternative which is near universal and feasible without using below poverty line targeting that has proved to be a colossal failure. This alternative, based on the results of a recent pilot for the bpl Census and which takes on board the concerns of its detractors, can be a way forward to a universal nfsa.

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