Even when tonnes of food grains are stored in the government godowns across the country, India ranks 102 out of 117 countries in the Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2019.
Even when tonnes of food grains are stored in the government godowns across the country, India ranks 102 out of 117 countries in the Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2019, much below to its South Asian neighbours such as Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, said Ashok Dhawale, President, All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS). Nearly 7 tonnes of food grains lie in the state-owned godowns, people are unable to purchase them, owing to higher prices, head of India’s largest farmer body All India Kisan Sabha told Financial Express Online in an interview. “It’s a question of giving (grains) at a cheaper rate. Give at a cheaper rate so people can buy. Since prices are increasing, people can’t buy,” he added.
Watch: India’s farm crisis goes beyond farming: Ashok Dhawale
The recent report pointed out that “India is suffering from a serious hunger problem”. The Global Hunger Index measures countries on a 100-point scale, where a score of 0 (zero) is considered as best performing countries and 100 is the worst. The stock of grains in FCI’s central pool stood at around 73.6 million tonnes in September, which is over 2.4 times the buffer norm for October. Generally, high domestic grain prices make exports uncompetitive.
Meanwhile, in a bid to ensure better access to government schemes, Modi government is mulling a plan to launch a ‘One Nation One Ratio Card’ scheme for beneficiaries. According to a report in The Indian Express in June, Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan said that the target is to launch the scheme within a year. He said that once the Point of Sale (PoS) machines are made available at all the Public Distribution System (PDS) shops across the country, the scheme will be launched which will help the beneficiaries to avail the benefits, especially migrant workers. The union minister also said that the new scheme will also help the government to check corruption and plug leakages in the system.