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Govt spends Rs 3.65 to deliver Rs 1-worth food; 57% of subsidized food doesn't reach beneficiaries

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Govt spends Rs 3.65 to deliver Rs 1-worth food; 57% of subsidized food doesn't reach beneficiaries Empty Govt spends Rs 3.65 to deliver Rs 1-worth food; 57% of subsidized food doesn't reach beneficiaries

Post by Seva Lamberdar Wed Feb 26, 2014 5:10 pm

NEW DELHI: The government spends Rs 3.65 to deliver Re 1 of food while 57% of subsidized food grains do not reach the intended beneficiaries. These startling findings by the Independent Evaluation Office point to massive corruption and pilferages in the existing public distribution system.

The agency's initial findings reveals that close to 36% of food grains are siphoned off in the supply chain, raising a serious question mark over effective implementation of UPA government's "game-changer" food security scheme which heavily depend on existing PDS network.

The agency has also found that corruption is less in the states such as Tamil Nadu where the PDS has been made universal.

The first task of the government's newly constituted independent evaluator was to study the effectiveness of the public distribution system (PDS).

The agency's first director general Ajay Chhibber said, "India can be a great economic power but must fix its Achilles Heel—which is better delivery of quality public services."

During his job as evaluator so far, Chhibber had told TOI that he has found that bureaucracy is a big problem with lack of coordination between ministries.

The former UN official claimed India could bounce back at 6.5% economic growth if bureaucratic bottlenecks are removed, adding that "administrative reasons" account for 1.5 percentage point dip in country's growth trajectory.

He argued that ineffective spending on government big-ticket social sector schemes had its bad impact on the economy.

Chhibber found that the incentive structure of social sector schemes, including PDS, needs to be looked at as it is ill-thought-out.

He has said in the existing PDS, it has been seen that as the ration shop owners fail to make enough money by selling grains to beneficiaries they are tempted to sell outside.

Apart from PDS, the agency is looking at the whole issue of movement of grain from the purchase centre to the consumer. "Eventually, we will also look at the Food Corporation of India and its operations, as well as the open-ended grain procurement policy," he said.

The independent evaluator would also focus on outcomes to ensure government schemes become more effective and accountable. Today, the government schemes are more target-oriented and not outcome oriented, Chhibber said.

The role of the agency assumes significance as the UPA government had budgeted around Rs 2 lakh crore on its flagship programmes in 2013-14.

The evaluator will submit its final report on the public distribution system and maternal mortality in the next 3-4 months, Chhibber said after the formal launch of the IEO.

The agency has also been asked to work on evaluating rural health outcomes and an insurance scheme handled by ministry of labour.
Seva Lamberdar
Seva Lamberdar

Posts : 6575
Join date : 2012-11-29

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