People's demand forces the Jharkhand Govt. to discontinue the "cash transfer for food" pilot scheme in Nagri
The Right to Food Campaign Jharkhand welcomes the Jharkhand Government’s decision to discontinue the “DBT for food subsidy” experiment in Nagri. It is unfortunate, however, that it took almost a year of popular protests for the government to arrive at this decision.
The DBT pilot caused enormous hardship to the people of Nagri, especially vulnerable groups such as single women and the elderly. Protests began within days of the experiment being launched in early October 2017. In February 2018, a field survey found that 97% of respondents in Nagri were opposed to DBT. Thousands of people walked from Nagri to the Governor’s House in Ranchi on 26 February to demand the reinstatement of the old public distribution system (PDS).
In April, the state government’s own social audit confirmed the results of the February survey. All but two Gram Sabhas in Nagri also passed resolutions against DBT. It is a mystery why it took another four months, after that, for the state government to decide to discontinue the experiment.
Further details of this chain of events, and of the situation in Nagri, are attached. The Right to Food Campaign Jharkhand appeals to the state government to abstain from any further experiments of this sort. Instead, the PDS should be further improved and consolidated, e.g. by universalising the PDS in rural areas and including pulses and oil in the PDS basket.
Asharfi Nand Prasad
(Convenor, Right to Food Campaign Jharkhand – on behalf of the campaign)
Please click here to access the official approval of the Jharkhand Government to discontinue the pilot scheme in Nagri.
Please click here to access the official communication of the Jharkhand Government to the District Collector to discontinue the pilot scheme in Nagri.
Tagged with: Direct Benefit Transfer (dbt) Direct Benefits Transfer Direct Benefits Transfer (dbt) Food Security National Food Security Act National Food Security Act (nfsa) Public Distribution System Public Distribution System (pds) Right To Food Cash Transfer Cash Transfers Right To Food Campaign