Manoj Kumar Parida, chief secy of Puducherry feels that cash transfer will will enable freedom of choice to buy
Shivani Chaturvedi | March 25, 2016
In your view how cash transfer in PDS has fared in Puducherry?
In my view the scheme is absolutely successful. It is one of the experiments that have worked very well. Primary reason is, people here are aware that it is a better idea to have money and buy from an open market as plenty of choices are available to them, rather than getting confined to a particular government control shop or ration shop and at times getting food grain which is of poorer quality or damaged during transportation and does not match the local taste. People don’t have to compromise on these aspects now. People know they have a choice of shops. Also, they have a choice whether they want to buy rice or medicine for child. Freedom of choice is what I think has pleased people.
This new system eliminates massive avoidable transportation of grains from one part of the country to the other, the burden of transportation, storage loss, damage, pilferage, etc.
In fact, for transportation and storage, private sectors like rice millers and shop owners should be best utilised. It is not the government’s job to get into the network of transportation and storage when it can be avoided.
Don’t you think some people may end up spending the cash on non-essentials? There are arguments that men might drink away the money.
Chances of misuse of cash are minimal. Ration cards have been mostly issued in the name of women so money goes into her account under cash transfer scheme. But if the male member of the family decides to sell the rice to the kirana (general) shop and with that money buy liquor, even the government mechanism cannot prevent it. Having said that I believe that priority of a consumer can be best known or fixed by the consumer himself or herself. If a person is in need of food he will not misuse the money.
There is a lot of chaos in administering and implementing the scheme. Many consumers complain of not receiving cash in their bank accounts. What steps are you taking to manage it?
Except for 10,000-12,000 people in whose case we have not been able to seed the Aadhaar number, the rest have received cash. But there is a requirement of informing these beneficiaries through SMS that PDS money for the particular month has reached their bank accounts. We are going to introduce such a mechanism soon. This would be the solution for prevailing confusion. The other thing, on how the money is getting transferred is being done by the centre. The centre decides how to reconcile between the banks and how to send money. We have no authority on this.
How will the government ensure that the beneficiary uses the cash for buying foodgrains and the purpose of the scheme is not being diluted?
The centre is carrying out two studies. First study is to find out how successful the scheme is. A team appointed by the centre is doing the evaluation. Second, how much the government saved in the process.
What challenge do you see the scheme may face in future?
The major problem that the cash transfer scheme in PDS may face is when food inflation increases. The centre might say that they have fixed the amount but that calculation will always be a challenge. Unless people get adequate quantity at a particular price the scheme will not be successful.
What are the key challenges that the Puducherry government is facing in making the scheme successful?
Popularising the concept and making people aware is the only challenge. We will make more improvements and refinements in the process.
Early last year Puducherry back-tracked a similar scheme that it introduced as a pilot. Is there any future plan of the local government on restarting cash transfer in PDS?
It is going to be a political decision. But in my view the present government is prepared for the transformation that is bringing in the system of cash transfer. Since assembly elections are nearing we need to wait and watch. We are already doing cash transfer in other social welfare schemes. We have distributed flood relief money through DBT.
There have been high-decibel protests against this scheme.
Those protests have died down. If consumers support the scheme, we can go forward.
Also read: DBT Puducherry: State of confusion
The Indic Quotient: Reclaiming Heritage through Cultural Enterprise By Kaninika Mishra Bloomsbury India, 230 pages, Rs. 499 Over the past decade, India has seen a significant rise in passion for enterprise as well as pride in her
International observers will keenly watch the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee meeting next month. The central committee is the highest organ of the CCP with a mandate to execute the decision of the National Congress which is convened once every five years. Besides economy, r
News profession is organic in nature, requires responsibility and discipline, and there is no room for mistake. To maintain high standards of accuracy you need discipline and hygiene in the newsroom. Sudhir Chaudhary, editor in chief of Zee News, Zee Business and Wion, has said that a TRP-driven business m
When Dharmendra Pandey, a fruit-seller had to leave Mumbai after the imposition of the lockdown during the Covid-19 pandemic, and return to his village in Uttar Pradesh, he was staring at economic uncertainties ahead. Little did he know that his 16-year-old son, Mahavir, had acquired skills that would come
Wearing a face mask is the first line of defence against the novel coronavirus, along with maintaining social distance and frequently washing hands with soap. More than six months after the outbreak of Covid-19, nearly 90 percent of people in India have become aware of the necessity of wearing a face mask,
Is India finally gaining an upper hand over the Covid-19 pandemic? After weeks of new cases hitting 90,000-plus every day, the tide seems to be turning, as the number came down to 75,083 on Tuesday, and the recoveries were not only higher than that but crossed the 1 lakh mark too. The countr