In the discours-programme the government had announced that hot meal will be given to pupils of primary schools. Following this proposal it was given to believe that Mr. Lutchmeenaraidoo, Minister of Finance would disseminate this information to the public during his budgetary speech. Anyhow, after probing this issue we will come to realize that the sum injected in this project will be astronomical and not to mention the waste it will imply. About one hundred and fifteen thousand pupils attend the primary schools among which some really deserve that food while the majority of them are more or less well fed.
If demand exceeds capacity then evidently it creates a vacuum in the market together with a crisis loaded environment. In the same way when too many privileges are provided from the welfare expenditure then the state finds itself in a critical situation.   Therefore in such circumstances either the state will likely tend to increase taxes or strive to produce more wealth in order to meet the welfare expenditure. What option does the state has at this juncture? The first option is to increase its fiscal revenue and the second choice is to have recourse to the second economic miracle that is to produce more wealth for the country. But this is not achieved over night.
Coming to the context of hot meal in the primary schools, according to my experience too much wastage will take place during this exercise. I have worked in both primary and secondary schools.  During my appointment at the primary school I had witnessed wastage of breads, some being in dire need had to consume it while the majority of them would either leave them in the class or would throw them away. Besides, the dustbin would contain ‘du pain catless’ partly consumed by the well off students. About 115000 pupils attend the primary schools. If a pack lunch will cost Rs 100 it means 100* 115000 * 22 days * 10 months. It will be a huge sum of money that will be spent on this exercise together with the implication of wastage that would follow up. It is to be noted that not all the pupils like a particular food offered on certain days. Just imagine the consequences of such disliked food.
The actual exercise is justifiable, that is offering foods in the ZEP schools. These students come from poor family and they really deserve the food. On top of it I would suggest the government to extend this grant to the pre-voc students. Having worked for sixteen years with them I have gathered many experiences in regard to their family background and their economic situation.  During my tenure of office as officer in charge of a SSS vocational  I was choked with complaints in connection with stolen foods of the form one students. Other students use to come to school without breakfast.  Coming from poor family, they would find themselves deprived of pocket money.
A stipend for needy students
In order to avoid wastage I would suggest the authority to grant the students in need a type of stipend so that they can spend it either on food or clothing. The government has decided to wage war against poverty which is a very laudable initiative. In this context I believe that the spirit of socialism must prevail. Priority must be given to hardship cases.
The state cannot become too altruistic but must spend money where the needs are felt. However, we are neither an under developed nor a developed country but we are still on way of development. We are still facing the brunt of economic recession. It is to note that Rome was not built in a day. Let us hope that our industry, perseverance and determination will ultimately bring a rich harvest. I will end with the following saying ‘Waste not, want not’ which stands for moderation.