India’s half of population is struggling to find food on their plate, coping with stern starvation and droughts with on the flipper side. India is home to the largest number of hungry people in the world with over 200 million people. The Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2013 ranks India at the bottom with 63rd position (out of 84 countries)with a GHI of 23.90, which the index characterizes as “alarming” food security situation. Major issues of food security in India are what will be the impact of such large government foodgrain procurement on the open market prices.Given the inefficiencies and leakages in the current distribution system, identify the principal areas of reform of the PDS and the alternative mechanisms of reaching the foodgrain/subsidy to the entitled households. Ways to forward is go for a universal right to food under which everyone is entitled to get subsidised foodgrains from the PDS. It is also suggested that instead of identifying the poor, it would be much easier to identify the rich to exclude them. Systems of storage, distribution, accountability and monitoring have to be put in place to ensure that there is minimal leakage. Provision of decentralized procurement need to be implemented. More states need to be brought under the procurement net and the procurement of coarse cereals increased. The food coupon or Aadhaar card-linked entitlement would eliminate the problem of having to procure and distribute more than 500 lakh tonnes of foodgrains every year as also the problem of diversion.
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