India looks to ban lavish weddings to feed poor: report

NEW DELHI Tue Feb 22, 2011 6:53am EST

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NEW DELHI (Reuters Life!) - India is considering adopting a policy from its impoverished and war-torn neighbor Afghanistan to help tackle a domestic food crisis: rein in lavish wedding parties of the rich.

The government is mulling a plan to feed the country's poor, by restricting extravagant feasts at the weddings and parties of India's burgeoning middle class, India's Mail Today newspaper reported on Tuesday.

India's economy has been growing an average 8.5 percent over the last five years, helping to propel millions of people into what is often termed the great Indian middle class and making the South Asian giant a darling for overseas investors.

But with steady growth has come high inflation, pushed up by soaring food prices that have hit India's poor the hardest. Headline inflation in December was above 8.4 percent while food inflation hit a one year high of 18.3 percent the same month.

"We believe we can preserve food grains for the poor and needy of this country by restricting its use at such extravagant and luxurious social functions," India's Food and Consumer Affairs Minister K. V. Thomas was quoted as saying in the Mail Today on Tuesday.

Nearly 15 percent of India's food grains were wasted at these events, Thomas said, and the government was now looking at introducing a bill before parliament limiting the amount of food dished out to guests, the Mail Today reported.

The proposed policy draws comparisons with a plan last month by the government of Afghanistan -- a country with only a fraction of India's GDP and which is grappling with a stubborn insurgency -- to ban abundant weddings to stop grooms going broke.

(Writing by Jonathon Burch; Editing by Alistair Scrutton and Sanjeev Miglani)

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Comments (4)
Sharman wrote:
You are fishing in the pissing. Who will stop the politicians? 280 lakhs crores in the foreign banks and number of scams. Prime Minister likes to sit on the seat in spite his all helplessness. What a poor guy? He don’t understand the simple business equation that quitting and demanding election/selection of the pure people is the best option instead getting mud on face. Leave behind all corrupt politicians, we all are with you. Manmohan! Don’t hold, we know you are old, our support will make you bold and you will get back gold.

Feb 22, 2011 10:54am EST  --  Report as abuse
wrote:
This is a Christian assault on Hindu marriages under the guise of helping the poor. The very fact that, the man in charge of the program is a Christian with dubious reputation in assaulting Hindu institutions. So we should stop pretending its altruism at work here !!!!

Feb 22, 2011 2:37pm EST  --  Report as abuse
BB1978 wrote:
As a southasian who has witnessed the waste at these functions, I am happy to hear it. Middle class Indians forget that their future will not be determined by them, but by the poor. The folks who make 2 dollars or less a day. Until that realization hits the upper class, that country is not going anywhere.

Feb 23, 2011 9:26am EST  --  Report as abuse
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