... the final jurisdiction for the implementation of the law (Right To Food) lies with the states and it is they who will decide what shape it takes. It is true that there will be a nice announcement on television and the print media with photos of the UPA bigwigs in their full smiling munificence, but what after that?

After that the wait begins. For states to get their new programmes up and running. The states that are the best positioned to do that are Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh, which have been heavily into the politics of food subsidies, and, as a result, have relatively effective delivery systems — this is why Jean Dreze talks about the Chhattisgarh model that other states will need to emulate.

The problem is that most of these states are opposition run and therefore unlikely to be very enthusiastic about sharing credit with the central government. Read More