According to 2011 data, leakages in PDS were estimated to be 46.7%
GN Bureau | February 28, 2017
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
The Maharashtra government has announced a spending of Rs 2,500 crore annually to develop infrastructure of state-owned distribution company Mahavitaran (MSEDCL). Out of the total amount, Rs 1,500 crore will be spent on energisation of conventional agriculture pumps and Rs 1,000 crore
India on Saturday began the massive vaccination drive against Covid-19, as prime minister Narendra Modi paid tributes the ‘corona warriors’. “Such a vaccination drive at such a massive scale was never conducted in history. There are over 100 countries having less than 3 cro
Television news these days has a loose relationship with truth, says senior journalist, columnist and author Vir Sanghvi, adding that it is not telling the truth and polarising opinions. In a live webcast with Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now, during the Visionary Talk series held by
Dust and Smoke: Air Pollution and Colonial Urbanism: India, c. 1860-1940 By Awadhendra Sharan Orient BlackSwan, xxiv+320 pages, Rs 795 Air pollu
India has been witnessing a sluggish demand growth for power amidst COVID-19. It has affected both thermal as well as renewable energy (RE) sector. While thermal sector (coal) plant load factor (PLF) is coming down continuously amidst no new generation building up, renewable energy held its ground through
Maharashtra Veej Grahak Sanghatana, a state-level coordination committee of industrial associations and power consumers, has approached the state government for urgent intervention on key concerns after Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission on December 9 published the draft of the MERC (Electricity