100 million Indians fall through gaps in food safety net, economists urge rethink on Covid-19 relief

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published Published on Apr 15, 2020   modified Modified on Apr 19, 2020


The Central government is using outdated population figures to determine grain allocations to states under the food security law.
Millions of Indians live on the verge of hunger even in normal times. Now, with the coronavirus epidemic sweeping the world and India declaring a five week-long economic lockdown to contain it, hunger threatens an even larger population which has no income to buy food.

As part of its economic central government has announced 5 kg extra foodgrains and one kg of pulses free of cost for three months for every Indian enrolled in the public distribution system. But more than 100 million people are excluded from the public distribution system because the central government insists on using the 2011 census population figures to calculate state-wise coverage under the National Food Security Act, calculations by economists Jean Drèze, Reetika Khera and Meghana Mungikar show.

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Scroll.in, 15 April, 2020, https://scroll.in/article/959235/100-million-indians-fall-through-gaps-in-food-safety-net-economists-urge-rethink-on-covid-19-relief

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