One of the biggest concerns with the current bill is that despite huge public spending, those it intends to feed will be left out. The bill says states will provide the list of the poor, but states say they don’t have any. The Centre has constituted various committees to look at measures of poverty: They all come up with different numbers. A Planning Commission report showed 58 per cent of subsidised foodgrain from the Central pool doesn’t reach BPL families because of identification errors and unethical implementation of PDS. According to economist Jean Dreze, “Some entitlements in the bill are universal or nearuniversal, like children’s and maternity entitlements. PDS entitlements are not universal, but can be seen as a step towards that, compared to BPL targeting ( the current approach).”
Government should talk of universalisation and map its beneficiaries, to ensure that those who need food most have access to it.