Food subsidy has gone up, but number of poor has dropped

According to 2011 data, leakages in PDS were estimated to be 46.7%

GN Bureau | February 28, 2017


#Food   #Food Subsidy   #PDS   #public distribution system  


The government's expenditure on subsidies sustaining the public distribution system (PDS), meant to provide subsidised foodgrain, have risen over the years while the ratio of people below the poverty line has gone down, says and analysis of PDS grants for 2017-18 by PRS Legislative Research.

It says 52 percent of the government's total expense on subsidy went to the PDS in 2017-18. Three types of leakage were identified in the PDS: loss by pilferage or damage; diversion of grain to non-beneficiaries; exclusion of people entitled to subsidised grain but not on the beneficiary list.

Among the measures to check leakage is the Cash Transfer of Food Security Rules, 2015, providing for direct benefit transfer (DBT) of food subsidy. As of March last year, DBT for food subsidy was being implemented on a pilot basis in Puducherry, Chandigarh, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli.

Read: DBT Chandigarh: An idea whose time hasn’t come

Read: Is DBT a one-stop solution?


In 2015, the high-level committee on restructuring the Food Corporation of India (FCI) recommended that biometrics and Aadhaar could help plug leakages. Also, that transfers could be linked to Jan Dhan accounts and indexed to inflation. The government claims that all ration cards had been digitised by January this year; however, only 73 percent of them had been seeded with Aadhaar. Aadhaar itself has been issued to more than 107.8 crore (November 2016 figures), or 89 percent of the population. Since 27 percent of ration cards are not seeded with Aadhaar, there are questions about whether Aadhaar should be made mandatory for getting rations.

Read: "Aadhaar shouldn't be linked to food distribution"

The PSR report also notes how minimum support price (MSP), or the price at which the government buys farmers' produce, incentivises farmers to grow only those crops for which the government offers MSP--typically foodgrain--and avoid crops such as pulses, on which it is not offered.

Under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), states were made responsible for identification of beneficiaries. In 2016, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) found the process was incomplete: 49 percent of estimated beneficiaries were yet to be identified.

Read: PRS Legislative Research - Demand for Grants 2017-18 Analysis of food and public distribution
 

Comments

 

Other News

Gujarat is key if India is to become $5 trillion economy

The Government of Gujarat had set up a task force committee in February 2022 under the chairmanship of Dr. Hasmukh Adhia, former union finance secretary, to work out a strategy for the state to contribute in making India a USD 5 trillion economy, as per the vision of the prime minister. In three months, th

Why is Lanka in flames: the making of a crisis

This time it was not Lord Hanuman, but the poor decision-making of the political leaders combined with several global economic factors that set Sri Lanka in flames. A state of emergency was declared in Sri Lanka. This month, after the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka resigned from his post, the

Growing Up as a Multilinguist

Being and Becoming Multilingual: Some Narratives Edited by Rajesh Sachdeva and Rama Kant Agnihotri

Mumbai civil body refutes allegations of scam in tenement scheme

The BrihanMumbai municipal corporation (BMC) has rejected the Congress accusations of financial irregularities worth Rs 8,000 crore—9,000 croe in awarding contracts for getting project-affected people (PAP) tenements on private land.    BMC has said that it implements vital p

Sedition law: Can it have a place in democracy?

Does the concept of sedition have a place in modern democracies? This question became more relevant when the apex court recently put the country`s colonial-era sedition law on abeyance stating that there is a “requirement to balance… security interests and integrity of the State… and th

Not just another Manto anthology

The Collected Stories of Saadat Hasan Manto: Volume 1: Bombay and Poona Translated by Nasreen Rehman Aleph Book Company, 548 pages, Rs 999 There are writers, there are writers’ writers, and then there are readers’ writers. Saadat Hasan Mant

Visionary Talk: Arvind Sawant, Member of Parliament with Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now


Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter