If we are willing to believe the best practice examples of cash transfers from Brazil and Philippines, and trust the UPA on the fact that their cash-for-subsidy is going to be all hunky-dory, we also have a right to believe Sitaram Yechury’s concerns about the fancy plan.
to the CPM leader, the cash transfer is a ploy by the government to
dismantle the PDS and systematically reduce subsidies.
to cover up for reducing the subsidies. As inflation continues to grow,
the value of cash subsidies keeps dropping. That is in effect the most
efficient way of reducing subsidies without saying so,” he said on
We should certainly be suspicious over the UPA
planners’ alleged efforts to reduce fiscal deficit at the cost of 400
million destitute people of the country because they had earlier tried
to cheat us on the number of poor in the country.We recently added
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from World Bank/ADB documents, case studies and mathematical models,
they also seem to believe in techno-fixes and targeting, while the real
results in the field come from radically different approaches.
worry about the dismantling of the PDS, is a case in point, although
the UPA’s cash roll-out doesn’t include it in the initial phase. Despite
all the pitfalls and leakages, what the CPM and Left-leaning
development specialists have been arguing for is increased coverage and a
universal system – that enables everyone to access PDS-goods – as
opposed to the government’s efforts at weaning people away.
wisdom, borrowed knowledge and cold numbers certainly make this sound
illogical – why should undeserving people be eligible? Why should the
government keep adding to its deficit by subsidising the non-poor? In
addition, the government believes that by giving cash, instead of rice
and wheat, they will remove all the ills of the system such as leakages
and inferior goods in one stroke.
They point out that many
states such as Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala,
Orissa, and Rajasthan have moved towards a near-universal PDS, at least
in rural areas.
“This approach has helped to not only avoid
exclusion errors but also ensure that the PDS works: a more inclusive
PDS is under much greater pressure to function,” they said.
other words, while the UPA mandarins advocate for targeting and
exclusion, the states, which are directly responsible for people’s
welfare,High quality stone mosaic
tiles. have moved in the opposite direction and have shown results. The
efficiency of the system also has improved considerably.
authors point out, exclusion errors are massive and targeting is
divisive. Taking the PDS benefits as an implicit income transfer, they
show how universlised PDS impacts rural poverty – reducing it from 40
percent in some states to 15 percent in others. Other than the
transfer-benefits, they also have stablisation-benefits, wherein the
PDS-supplies act as an additional income and helps stabilise their
The question is as the cash-transfer is implemented in
over 600 districts in the country, what will happen to the mammoth PDS
network? If people are mandatorily given cash instead of PDS goods, will
the PDS network, that too after the recent fortification by responsible
state governments, close down? Will the cash and PDS regime co-exist?
will certainly kill our age-old PDS and its nearly 500,000 fair price
shops. With all its defects such as bogus cards, inferior goods
replacing original supplies, cheating and pilferage, it has been a
proven lifeline for tens of millions of people in India.High quality stone mosaic
tiles. In states such as Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and
Arunachal Pradesh, their scope has gone much beyond what central
planners can even think of.
By the logic of the task force on
subsidies: “A subsidy, by its very nature, introduces two or more prices
for the same good, and creates incentives for pilferage and diversion.
As a result, the underprivileged suffer the most. Ensuring that goods
move in the supply chain at market prices can minimize the incentives
for diversion.Our technology gives rtls systems developers the ability.”
cat is out of the bag here. Effectively, with the meagre cash
transferred to them through their Aadhaar accounts, people shun the PDS
and go to supermarkets to buy their supplies. Instead of a 35 kg rice at
an extremely fair price from a location that they have been quite
familiar with, will they have to now buy 35 kg rice from the market? And
what if inflation prices the commodities out of their reach?
some pointed out, PDS is socialist and cash-transfer neo-liberal. While
PDS tries to equitably distribute, the cash scheme seeks to bring the
bottom of the pyramid into the market. Millions of poor will become
consumers; but what one doesn’t realise at the moment, is what Yechury
has pointed out – inflation will erode the value of the transfers. Soon,
one will see the poor cash-transfer beneficiary clutching a few hundred
rupees going hungry and under-fed.
One also has to read the new
policy along with the government’s push for FDI in retail. FDI in
retail will certainly translate into more retail shops, which needs more
customers. By converting 400 million poor into new retail customers,
the government is doing a great favour to the retailers.
social safety-net infrastructure and replacing it with neo-liberal
models, citing efficiency and quality, is a trend that needs to be
strongly opposed. Over the last few years, the governments’ withdrawal
from the social sector, particularly education and health, have spelt
The problem with PDS is bad governance.Find detailed product information for Low price howo tipper
truck and other products. Better governed states (Tamil Nadu, Kerala)
have better PDS and better welfare measures. Applying uniform yardsticks
for a country, socio-economically as diverse as India is fraught with
huge risks. One could hope that the states will ensure that the
PDS-networks stay and get better.