This paper is one in a large collection of papers, articles, books and reports on food policy in India. Indeed, food policy is a widely researched topic in India. To name a few genres, there are several historical overviews and evaluations of PDS; there are economic models and calculations about income and price effects of PDS; there are many studies about agricultural production in relation to price policy. The abundant attention is not surprising: food is indeed an extremely important topic. It is one of the basic necessities in human (and also non human) life. A large part of the population is involved in its production, and food trade and distribution occupies many government officials, traders, politicians and, of course, consumers. Food distribution affects the whole population. Food scarcity and rising food prises are problematic to all. So, as long as food supply is not more or less fully guaranteed, and as long as food is still scarce and expensive for some categories of people, food policy will remain an important topic in political debate and academic studies.

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