THE PDS CO­NUN­DRUM

India Today - - NATION - With Ashish Mishra

With the Govern­ment re­ly­ing heav­ily on PDS to see im­ple­men­ta­tion of the bill through, there are con­cerns about pil­fer­age, cor­rup­tion and loss of pro­duce. As Ashok Gulati ex­plains, “The cur­rent PDS sys­tem suf­fers from large leak­ages ( around 40 per cent); high op­er­a­tional costs; and high costs of labour at Food Cor­po­ra­tion of In­dia, all of which will rise. Only a frac­tion of the Govern­ment spend will reach the real needy. Time will test whether In­dia can af­ford this in­ef­fi­cient sys­tem to de­liver. The world has moved on, but In­dia is stuck on this method.”

In states like Ch­hat­tis­garh, PDS is work­ing like a charm, with the state govern­ment us­ing IT to track move­ment of grain. It has also roped in vil­lage pan­chay­ats, co­op­er­a­tives and women’s groups to raise ef­fi­ciency, and cut down on bo­gus BPL cards on the ba­sis of a brand new data­base.

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