Letters to the editor
Don’t scrap FCI or PDS
Apropos of the edit “Rotten procurement” (FE, December 11), it is not so much a black-and-white matter as the edit assumes. Yes, there is corruption in public procurement and in subsidised disbursal of food-grains. But when the suggestions boil down to scrapping procurement or disbursal altogether, it is a case of throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Many households in India, especially in the hinterland, where the newspaper editors writing about scrapping PDS care not to visit or stay long enough to know the ground reality, are dependent on the scheme. And to feed them, to help them just stay alive, the government must have a public procurement system. What the government must to do id check leakages. What it mustn’t is junk the scheme altogether. Many farmers, and not just ones in Punjab and Haryana, could benefit if the scheme reaches other states.
Sumona Pal, Kolkata
The Apex Court has rightly upheld the Haryana government’s order on imposing minimum educational qualifications for those contesting Panchayat elections in the state. In this context, we are reminded of what the first President of India, Rajendra Prasad, had said during the discussion in the Constituent Assembly. He had desired that the people’s prospective representatives, and those who vote for them, must both meet certain educational criteria. But, unfortunately, the proposal was vociferously opposed by Nehru, who saw to it that it was out-rightly rejected. It is only expected today, when the electorate’s education profile is rising, that representatives be educated, too.
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