Saturday, July 31, 2021

Who needs to be blamed for the Food Wastage during the end of UPA II

During the end of the UPA II, there was lot of food wastage in the godowns of the Indian Government. Who needs to be blamed for that? 

I don't blame Manmohan Singh's Government.

Manmohan Singh's Government regularly increased Minimum Support Price (MSP) for the food items. Many times, it was more than the Market Price. So, the farmers sold everything to the Government rather than the private entities. 

Towards the end of the tenure of UPA II, Government had more food stock and almost no space to put it in its godowns. What should the Government have done at that time?

Any good businessman would sell the excess stock at the market rate irrespective of the price at which the stock was bought. i.e., Even if they had bought the stock at very high price, they would sell it for very less price in that situation.

One can see the same situation, whenever anyone goes to a wholesale market, and finds a person who has very less stock and wants to move to his hometown soon, or on the last day of any exhibition where the vendors come from different states. In that situation, for the vendor taking the stock back to his hometown is going to cost him a lot. Instead, selling it for any price (even if it is far less than the purchase price) may be beneficial for them. 

If the Government does the same thing, where it sells the food stock at market price (less than the purchase price), what would happen? 

CAG comes up with a report of XXX crores of Loss to the exchequer due to that.

Opposition stalls the Parliament from functioning.

Media abuses the Government left and right for the huge loss.

There would be many cases in the courts against many people in the Government for the loss, and those people would have to face the cases for many years.

What is the best course of action for the person who is in the power?

Not selling the food stock is the best option. 

If the rats eat food in some godown, it is highly difficult to put a case against a Minister or a Secretary in the Ministry. But, if the Minister or the Secretary signs on a bill to sell at market price, it is very easy to put a case against them.

So, the Government chose the best option for them.

Chidambaram said, he wanted to sell the food stock at the market price. But, he did not get any support from the bureaucrats. And, finally, lot of food got wasted. 

Unless People, Media, Opposition and other Government agencies are ready to realize that, sometimes, realizing a loss is good for the country, these things are bound to happen. 

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