Cost-saving, to whose benefits?

When the govt says the family of 4 earning 4800 – 5000 a month are below poverty line (this itself is big joke), the Govt. has gone ahead and decided to scrap the public distribution system.

According to critics, the government has deliberately kept poverty line low. A low poverty line has enabled the government to show that millions have moved out of poverty. 

Once elected to power, still the next election comes in, the commoners have to bear with all their decisions and carry the burden.

The next victim:

In their enthusiasm to link Aadhar Card to all and sundry and to go cashless, haphazard systems are rolled out, with huge burden on the banking and government administration which are not given time to prepare.

Now the next victim is the Public Distribution System and the Govt’s decision to link all the beneficiaries to their Aadhar Card. 

Yes, the government will save significant money if the PDS is moved to cash transfers. The cost of procurement, storage, transportation and distribution currently incurred would have been done away with in one swift move.

But, the Independent evaluations suggest the amount transferred was insufficient to buy the grain individuals are entitled to (5 kg per person) from the open market, which meant that consumption of grains was either reduced or funds for other expenses were being moved to food.

The success or the failure depends on the implementing agencies and can it be guaranteed that only the needy will benefit from this move? Will there be no irregularities in the distribution to the beneficiaries?

A choice should be given to all users of the PDS, to see if they want to participate in the experiment and the option to opt-out should be given, whether they prefer the older system. It should be their preference whether they want to move to the new system or remain with the older system.

The Next In Line Are:

The systems which are going to be linked is your mobile numbers, unless you link your Aadhar card to your number, one fine morning you will find your number blocked.

The second is for getting a death certificate, unless you had a Aadhar card, your family might not able to get a death certificate. It is another mindless move. There should have been cut off like people born before certain years should have been exempted.

Going cashless and paperless is a good move but should be done in a systematic way and gradually. You cannot achieve anything overnight. 

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