The BJP condemns the Bill as a pre-election gimmick. But it will surely fail. Many states already provide cereals more cheaply than the Bill. Tamil Nadu provides 20 kg of free rice to poor families. Other southern states provide rice at 1 per kg. Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan are going to have state elections, and all three now offer wheat or rice at 1 per kg.

So, in several states, the additional subsidy of the Bill will not mean cheaper food for consumers, simply less subsidy at the state level. Chief ministers will get the credit for cheap cereals, not New Delhi.

The Bill may mean cheaper cereals in some states, like Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh. But the Public Distribution System (PDS) is in terrible shape in these states. To the extent the PDS improves, the chief ministers will get the credit. Read More