Will India's Food Security Bill Deliver ? The question has brought forth many harsh and polarised opinions. Many have attacked it for the potential financial damage it could cause. It's supporters have argued that it was imperative to fix the hunger problem in India.
It might be useful, however, to take a step back and understand how this Bill came into being and the thinking behind subsidies in general and this new one in specific. And then the big questions. Do subsidies work in India ? And will, thus, the Food Security Bill work in India ? And if so, how will it actually roll out ? And finally, what are the chances that it might not wreak the havoc that critics fear it will ? Because things could change, economically. Or superior targeting.
Responding to these questions is Biraj Patnaik, Principal Adviser to the Commissioners of the Supreme Court. Patnaik has been a "Member of a number of Committees of the Planning Commission, the Government of India and State Governments on food, health care and public sector reforms."
(Broadcast warning: Audio/video quality slightly poor !)