Under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), wheat and rice were made available to ration card holders at between Rs 1 and Rs 3 per kg. But when the Covid pandemic spread in 2020, along with Corona, it was decided that the government would provide free ration to the poor under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY). At that time this system existed only till the Corona epidemic. But then it started being distributed like wildfire. NFSA and PMGKAY were merged.
Now on Saturday, the Prime Minister announced in Chhattisgarh that the period for distributing free ration has been extended by five more years. The provision of free ration for 80 crore people in the country is not a normal thing. It is difficult to estimate how much burden this would have on the economy.
Those receiving free ration crossed 81 crores
According to the latest data, the number of such beneficiaries has now increased to 81.35 crore. NFSA was started by Manmohan government in 2013. According to this scheme, ration card holders were supposed to get wheat and rice at the rate of one rupee and three rupees per kg. Under this, it was decided to get 5 kg of food grains per person in a month. Then Narendra Modi government brought Antyodaya Yojana, in which the limit of 35 kg of food grains was set.
Also read-Congress on back foot due to Akhilesh Yadav’s attitude, will things be resolved just by apology?
The scheme for distribution of free ration was to end in December. Now the Prime Minister has extended it further for 5 years. This relief package of Rs. 2.25 lakh crore was started on 30 June 2023. Certainly, due to this scheme, poor families got a lot of help in fighting Corona.
Shock to industries due to labor shortage
The poor families who lost their jobs due to Corona also got support to live through this scheme. But it has more disadvantages than its advantages. Firstly, due to this scheme, there was a huge reduction in the number of laborers. Laborers are not available in the cities because they do not come to work as laborers in the villages due to free ration. And even if they come, they don’t stay.
Small and medium industries have suffered a huge blow due to labor shortage. Along with this, the work efficiency of the workers has also decreased. India has become the fifth largest economy in the world today because of the agility and skill of the workers. But if 81 crore people out of a population of 141 crore sit at home, then production will definitely come to a standstill.
China made increasing population a weapon of prosperity
China had given the recipe to strengthen its economy through increasing population. He supplied cheap goods to the world with the help of his laborers. Vietnam, Thailand, Bangladesh learned this art from him and India also increased production. But free ration distribution put an end to this production. The workmanship of Indian laborers is not visible in the world market today.
On the contrary, the goods made by the workers of China, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and Bangladesh remain there. The goods produced by the workers here are available in abundance in the markets of Canada, America, Western countries and Arab countries. Big brands, whether from America, Germany, France or Britain, are often made by workers from these countries. The Indian laborer is now lagging behind.
How long will the middle class enjoy freebies?
How long will crores of people of the country get free ration due to the middle class of the country? Guaranteeing food is an important responsibility of any public welfare government. But it does not make sense for him to pick the pockets of the middle class. By giving free ration and subsidy on everything, what happens is that crores of people become unemployed. But in our country, governments have been implementing schemes like free food to get votes. Whereas there should be a guarantee of providing education and health to everyone.
In our country, immediately after independence, some people were given subsidies and made the spokespersons of political parties. Free and cheap food was started by NT Ramrao in South India (Andhra Pradesh). After this Jai Lalitha grabbed it.
Everyone lags behind in education and health.
Then a competition started as to who would reduce the prices of essential commodities by how much. Today, every political party is announcing the distribution of such cash. State governments have crossed the limits. This is also free and that is also free. Even some political parties are making pilgrimages free or giving subsidies.
Political parties win elections by raising such popular slogans, but when it comes to implementing their pre-poll promises, they stand in front of the Centre. The need is to provide work to the people. Provide employment opportunities for them. If subsidy has to be given then give it to health and education. But no political party has shown the courage to think about these basic things.
Foreign companies started running away
That is why now it has become a panacea to announce free ration and cheap food. Why would anyone work when they get free food? Earlier, companies from many developed countries used to come and set up their factories in the country. This provided better employment to the workers and improved their lifestyle and thinking. Since the population of developed countries is less and laborers are very expensive.
That’s why these companies used to come towards countries with huge populations like India. Companies like Skechers, Clarks and Denim may be from America or Europe but their products are made in Bangladesh, China or Vietnam. This is the wonder of labor power, which is unskilled and needs employment. These companies give them enough money. This brings foreign currency into the country.
truancy increased due to free ration
But due to free ration, this same laborer starts stealing. Whether there is work for him or not, there is free food. Laborers are no longer available in cities for small factories. Because now no one wants to leave the village. Whether there is employment in the village or not, there is provision for food. Every political party is doing this.
In states like Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, there is competition amongst each other as to who is ahead in providing free food. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has inculcated such a habit of freebies among the voters of North India that due to this, he has been ruling Delhi with a single umbrella for two consecutive terms. After watching them, every political party has now learned how to impress the voters by luring them with freebies.
Also read- Akhilesh kept planning, Congress started its PDA formula in MP, Kamal Nath’s new social engineering.