Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Sunday charged the NDA government at the Centre of lax implementation of the National Food security act. In a series of tweets, Mr Chidambaram said, ‘India produces enough food for its people, but not all people get enough food to eat. That is the paradox.
While many interventions were made – some achieved moderate success — the most decisive intervention was the passing of the NFSA, 2013.When the government changed in 2014, the NDA was obliged to implement the law. It did not.’ Mr Chidambaram said that expenditure in the Union budget on the Food security act had come down under the rule of the NDA. ‘According to the Budget documents, the government spent Rs 1,34,919 crore in 2015-16 under the NFSA. For 2016-17, it was Rs 1,30,335 crore (Budget expenditure) and Rs 1,30,673 crore (revenue expenditure).
But the actual expenditure was only Rs 105,672, as reported in May 2017. This was callous neglect and there has been no explanation,’ Mr Chidambaram said. Pointing out that ‘The State of Food Security and Nutrition Report ‘ (UNICEF, 2017) states that 190 million people in India are undernourished, Mr Chidambaram said, ‘It is an undeniable fact that a significant proportion of the Indian population goes hungry on many days of the year. The State of Food Security and Nutrition Report (UNICEF, 2017) states that 190 million people in India are undernourished.’ ‘Why should the government deny this depressing fact, unless it has developed the habit of denying anything that is an inconvenient truth?’, he asked.