Milind Murugkar
Pragati Abhiyan
Milind Murugkar is a policy researcher and activist associated with Pragati Abhiyan, an NGO focusing on rural development. He works to build bridges between grassroots citizen groups and farmers affected by economic and trade policies and the political system that makes the policies. His work fosters understanding of economic and trade policies at the grassroots level through press reports, workshops, and focus group discussions. He works to enhance the knowledge base of political decision-makers by sharing his research and results with actors in the political system. He is also involved in the discourse on  alternatives for the PDS  in India, such as cash transfers.

He  is widely published in the Marathi language press and also in Hindustan Times  and Indian Express.

Articles By Milind Murugkar
Protectionism under the guise of food security
Posted On: 10 Aug 2014

Topics:   Trade , Agriculture

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 subsidised grain to the poor and ensure food security. In this article, Kotwal, Murugkar and Ramaswami critique this reasoning and India’s position on the issue.
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Bali conundrum: WTO and Indian agriculture
Posted On: 15 Jan 2014

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 in the near future. In this article, the authors suggest disentangling consumer support and producer support via cash transfers so that India can build a safety net for its poor without violating WTO agreements.
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Some reflections on the National Food Security Act
Posted On: 10 Dec 2013

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 health and education instead? Can we afford the cost of subsidising food for such a large chunk of the population? Should we continue to waste money on the flawed PDS system? How will the grain markets be affected? This column offers a perspective on these important questions.
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A suggestion for WTO negotiations
Posted On: 02 Dec 2013

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, in return, it may have to agree on trade facilitation. This article argues that while our food procurement policies do need reform, there is no link between the food security law and free trade.
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Do the poor need genetically modified crops?
Posted On: 22 Nov 2013

Field trials of a few genetically modified crops were recently put on hold by the Environment Ministry. This article asserts that the decision reflects an ideological resistance to and suspicion about the technology, which is at odds with the government’s stated policy of using GM crops for the benefit of rural poor. It argues that GM crops can go a long way in helping farmers by improving crop yields.
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Doing a number on the Food Security Bill
Posted On: 11 Nov 2013

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%, and presented correct costs of the Bill. Bhalla then defended his methodology and calculations and criticised the authors’ arguments. This article responds to Bhalla’s defence, and says that the astronomical estimates of the Bill are irrelevant.
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Correct costs of the Food Security Bill
Posted On: 28 Aug 2013

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 this article, the authors explain the errors and present the correct cost figures of the Bill.

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Food Bill: Neither populist nor unaffordable
Posted On: 19 Jun 2013

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 Parliament. This article addresses some of the key questions raised by critics of the Bill.
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