The Right To Food campaign has decried the government decision to allow export of two million tonnes of wheat and said the food grains should instead be provided to poor in India.
In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who chaired the cabinet meeting, the campaign members said, “We are appalled that the government of India is choosing to subsidise exports of wheat in order to liquidate stocks rather than distribute it to the starving multitudes in India.”
This unjust decision of exporting grain at cheap prices to the global markets, instead of ensuring that food reaches all and nobody goes hungry in the country, was taken by a committee headed by the chairman of Ecomonic Advisory Council, Mr C Rangarajan, the letter alleged.
The decision comes at the time when India has the largest number of hungry people in the world with a rank of 67 out of the 81 countries ranked in the International Food Policy Research Institute’s 2011 Global Hunger Index. It is also home to one in every third malnourished child in the world. “The solution provided by the Food ministry (of export) was worse than the problems in hand,” the letter read.
Seeking reversal of the Cabinet decision, the campaign demanded that the wheat should be distributed in India’s 200 poorest districts. For this, the Central government should universalise public distribution system for providing subsidized food grains in these 200 districts and ensure the states that they would get the food grains at the subsidized rate, the campaign said.
The Supreme Court in 2011 had asked the Central government to distribute additional food grains in 150 poorest districts, which the campaign, claimed has not been implemented.