Iam a strong believer in the theory that the government has no business doing any business. The government has no business running steel companies, textile mills, condom companies etc. All that the government has to do is to manage the law and order machinery, keep the country safe and to create laws and an environment that is conductive for its people do do business and prosper. The government exists so that the common man can use his skills to run his own business and employ people. More than 60 years ago when the country got its independence, it was ok for the government to get into all the industries so as to kick start the process of industrialisation. As time went by, the citizens of the country got into the business of making money and it was time for the government to sell off the businesses and do what it was mandated to….and that is to govern the country.
But under the socialist regime of our succesive governments, the economy has been screwed up badly and sadly even 63 years after independence, we have millions of our citizens going hungry every day while millions of tons of foodgrains rot in open grounds for lack of storage space.
Meanwhile we have a food and agricultural minister who is busy hobnobbing with the glamour of industry and entertainment and involving himself in cricket. Not to mention monopolising the sugar business in his home state of Maharashtra. All this at time when foodgrains have no place to be stored and are left to the mercy of rains and heat in some open lands.
Even though the Supreme Court has woken up late, its good to see that the apex court has now come out with a ruling stating that not a single grain should be wasted and if the government cant do the needful, it must distribute the food to the poor free of cost.
The Supreme Court has observed that not a single food grain should be wasted. In a strongly-worded ruling, the apex court has told the government that foodgrains are rotting and if you can’t do anything about it then distribute it among the poor. The court has also sought government’s response on this.
Meanwhile, as the government faces flak over letting close to 30 lakh tonnes of foodgrain rot across the country, the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) on food has reportedly decided to sell an additional 30 lakh tonnes of rice and wheat to 11.5 crore Above-Poverty-Line (APL) families through ration shops.
Didnt such a though occur to the incompetent government and the food minister earlier?
PS: Remember the days of waiting for 2 years for a land line, booking periods for a Bajaj scooter or a Maruti car? That’s the kind of pathetic performance only our government can do. That’s why agriculture, retail and everything to do with logistics needs to be deregulated. So that the private sector can do in a few years what our government hasn’t been able to do in decades.
Picture courtesy: Poonam