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Posts by Bharat Ramaswami

Aadhaar Bill and government benefits: Better targeting and reduced corruption?

Supporters of Aadhaar express the hope that will reduce inclusion errors and corruption by eliminating ghost beneficiaries, say in schemes like MNREGA. Are there substantial benefits to be reaped on t...

  • Perspectives

Aadhaar Bill: Incremental information-gathering powers for government?

The government already has the means to collect a lot of information on citizens (example, phone conversations and logs, credit card transactions, income tax records, bank account details, etc.). Conv...

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Protectionism under the guise of food security

India has backed out of the commitment it made at the WTO negotiations in Bali in November 2013. The implicit explanation is that the government needs to accumulate food grain stocks to provide subsid...

  • Perspectives

Two views on the Budget

The Modi government’s first Budget has received a mixed response. Eswar Prasad and Bharat Ramaswami present two distinct views on the Budget. While Prasad is of the opinion that the Budget hits the...

  • Perspectives

Bali conundrum: WTO and Indian agriculture

The outcome of the recent WTO meetings at Bali is a stopgap arrangement, which implies that the Indian government does not have to make any changes in the implementation of the new Food Security Act i...

  • Perspectives

Some reflections on the National Food Security Act

The Food Security Bill became an Act with little parliamentary opposition. Yet the public debate has lingered. Would subsidised food grains reduce malnutrition? Won’t it be better to invest in heal...

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A suggestion for WTO negotiations

India’s new food security law is likely to breach WTO’s limit on farmer support. India is keen to ask for a temporary exemption from the rule so that the law can be implemented unhindered. But, i...

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Doing a number on the Food Security Bill

In a recent article, Kotwal, Murugkar and Ramaswami pointed out errors in estimation by Surjit Bhalla that led him to assert that the Food Security Bill will increase cost of food subsidy by 336%, an...

  • Perspectives

How labels influence the decision to buy genetically modified food

A regulation mandating labelling for all packaged products has been in effect in India since the beginning of this year. This column examines the role of information provided by labels in the decisio...

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Correct costs of the Food Security Bill

In a recent article, Surjit Bhalla has asserted that the Food Security Bill will increase costs of food grain subsidy by 336%. Correcting errors in his calculation brings this figure down to 18%. In t...

  • Perspectives

Food Bill: Neither populist nor unaffordable

Criticism of the National Food Security Bill has led to the government dropping the idea of issuing an Ordinance and instead, saying it would try to get the Bill passed in a special session of Parlia...

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Grain stocks: Is it a problem of storage capacity?

Foodgrains rot due to insufficient storage capacity, even as millions go to bed hungry. This column argues that increasing capacity is only a partial resolution. The crisis has happened before and wil...

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