Hyderabad: Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao opined that a fool proof distribution policy should be implemented to remove irregularities and pass on the total benefits to the beneficiaries in the Public Distribution System (PDS).
The Chief Minister held a review meeting here on Saturday at Pragati Bhavan against the backdrop of ration dealers serving a strike notice and what should be the strategy of the government.
Ministers Laxma Reddy, Government’s Chief Advisor Rajiv Sharma, Chief Secretary SP Singh, MP Balka Suman, MLC Karne Prabhakar, Civil Supplies Commissioner CV Anand, Senior officials S Narsing Rao, Rama Krishna Rao, Vakati Karuna, Shanta Kumari, Smita Sabharwal, Bhoopal Reddy and others participated.
“Every year the government is spending Rs 6, 500 Crore and distributing essential commodities to the poor through the ration shops. Several All India Services Officers and a host of the state government officers and other staff are working on the programme.
The government is being bogged down with the system and while spending thousands of crores the programme is not yielding the desired result. The essential commodities meant for the poor and being diverted and there is a mafia operating in supplying of the PDS rice.
The illegal operators have come to such a pass that they are able to influence and manage the higher officials. Every day newspapers are publishing reports about the rice that is being hoarded being caught. The reports on the illegal hoarding and supply of the PDS rice is causing grave concerned.
One will often feel bad and sad that though several thousand crores are being spent and with lot of hardships but yet the government is getting a bad name. This situation should go.
The money being spent on the poor should reach them cent percent. For this we have to come up with a new and effective method,” the Chief Minister said.
Officials brief the CM on DBT:
The officials have responded based on the suggestion given by the Chief Minister. They have explained about the changes that took place in the PDS at several places in the country.
They informed that there is a system in place called direct benefit transfer (DBT). They said that in the Union Territories like Chandigarh, Pondicherry, Dadra Haveli, the beneficiaries are deposited the money directly into their accounts instead of the essential commodities under the DBT system through the PDS.
The officials have reminded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has requested all the State Governments to implement the DBT system. In 2013, the then UPA government had brought in Food Security Act 20/2013 also suggested the money transfer as subsidy to the beneficiaries.
It also explained how it would be beneficial to transfer the money instead of distributing the essential commodities. The officers said as on date rice is being supplied and that too in a fixed time. Instead, if the money is transferred, the beneficiaries can buy whatever commodity they require.
Hence, the officials have suggested to the Chief Minister that the money should be directly deposited to the beneficiaries’ accounts. Responding to this, the Chief Minister has asked the officials to find out whether supply of rice is good or transferring the money?
Alternative arrangements for the strike
The officials said that they were making alternative arrangements against the strike notice given by the dealers. If the dealers do not withdraw their strike, it is better to transfer the money to the accounts of the beneficiaries. (INN)