The public distribution system, which provides food at low prices, is a subject of vital concern. There is a growing realization that thought Pakistan has enough food to feed its masses three square meals a day, the monster of starvation and food insecurity continues to haunt the poor in our country.
Increasing the purchasing power of the poor through providing productive employment leading to rising income, and thus good standard of living is the ultimate objective of public policy. However, till then, there is a need to provide assured supply of food through a restructured more efficient and decentralized public distribution system (PDS).
Although the PDS is extensive – it is one of the largest such systems in the world – it has yet to reach the rural poor and the far off places. It remains an urban phenomenon, with the majority of the rural poor still out of its reach due to lack of economic and physical access. The poorest in the cities and the migrants are left out, for they generally do not possess ration cards. The allocation of PDS supplies in big cities is larger than in rural areas. In view of such deficiencies in the system, the PDS urgently needs to be streamlined. In addition, considering the large food grains production combined with food subsidy on one hand and the continuing slow starvation and dismal poverty of the rural population on the other, there is a strong case for making PDS target group oriented.
The growing salaried class is provided job security, regular income, and percent insulation against inflation. These gains of development have not percolated down to the vast majority of our working population. If one compares only dearness allowance to the employees in public and private sector and looks at its growth in the past few years, the rising food subsidy is insignificant to the point of inequity. The food subsidy is a kind of D.A. to the poor, the self-employed and those in the unorganized sector of the economy. However, what is most unfortunate is that out of the large budget of the so – called food subsidy, the major part of it is administrative cost and wastages. A small portion of the above budget goes to the real consumer and an even lesser portion to the poor who are in real need.
It is true that subsidies should not become a permanent feature except for the destitute, disabled widows and the old. It is also true that subsidies often create a psychology of dependence and hence is habit – forming, killing the general initiative of the people. By making PDS target group oriented, not only the poorest and neediest would be reached without additional cost, but it will actually cut overall costs incurred on large cities and for better off localities. When the food and food subsidy are limited the rural and urban poor should have the priority in the PDS supplies. The PDS should be closely linked with programs of employment generation and nutrition improvement.
What should be an appropriate step to make the PDS effective?
Democratic societies from the earliest times have expected their governments to protect the weak against the strong. No ‘era of good feeling’ can justify discharging the police force or giving up the idea of public control over concentrated private wealth. On the other hand, it is obvious that a spirit of self – denial and moderation on the part of those who hold economic power will greatly soften the demand for absolute equality. Men are more interested in freedom and security than in an equal distribution of wealth. The extent to which Government must interfere with business, therefore, is not exactly measured by the extent to which economic power is concentrated into a few hands. The required degree of government interference depends mainly on whether economic powers are oppressively used, and on the necessity of keeping economic factors in a tolerable state of balance.
However, with the necessity of meeting all these dangers and threats to liberty, the powers of government are unavoidably increased, whichever political party may be in office. The growth of government is a necessary result of the growth of technology and of the problems that go with the use of machines and science. Since the government in our nation, must take on more powers to meet its problems, there is no way to preserve freedom except by making democracy more powerful.
‘Era of good feeling’ in the paragraph refer to
Philadelphia is a city known for many things. It is where the Declaration of independence was signed in 1776, and it was also the first capital of the United States. But one fact about Philadelphia is not so well-known: it is home to nearly 3,000 murals painted on the sides of homes and buildings around the city. In fact, it is said that Philadelphia has more murals than any other city in the world, with the exception of Rome. How did this come to be?
More than 20 years ago, a New Jersey artist named Jane Golden started a program pairing troubled youth with artists to paint murals on a few buildings around the city. Form this small project, something magical happened. The young people involved helped to create magnificent pieces of art, but there were other, perhaps more important benefits. The young people learned to collaborate and get along with many different kinds of people during the various steps required to paint and design a mural. They learned to be responsible, because they needed to follow a schedule to make sure the murals were completed. They also learned to take pride in their community. It is hard for any resident to see the spectacular designs and not feel proud to be a part of Philadelphia.
Take a walk around some of the poorest neighborhoods I Philadelphia, neighborhoods full of broken windows and littered front steps, and you will find beautiful works of art on the sides and fronts of buildings. Of course they murals are not just in poor neighborhoods, but more affluent ones as well. Special buses take tourists to different parts of the city to see the various murals, which range from huge portraits of historical heroes, to cityscapes, to scenes depicting the diverse ethnic groups that call Philadelphia home.
As a result of its success, the mural program created by Jane Golden has now become the nation’s largest public art program and a model for to troubled youth.
Based on information in the passage, the author most likely believes that