Move to cash transfers for PDS
Apropos of your edit “Future PDS”, there can be no doubt that the private sector management of the ration shops is going to plug the leakages existing in the current model which facilitates a nexus between PDS officials and locals operating ration shops in different areas. In that respect, Rajasthan’s move should, hopefully, curtail PDS loss. But will it be prudent to give it to one private entity. In that case, a hegemony is built and that will again facilitate the same leakages with time. But, if the state were to divide PDS locations into regions and allocate the regions to a posse of organised private sector retail chains, that would foster competition and keep out any kind of monopoly. But if the government is serious about plugging leakages, then it should do away with the entire PDS ecosystem and instead directly transfer cash to beneficiaries to enable purchase from the market. Aadhaar-based authentication and direct cash transfers can definitely take care of the problem by eliminating the entire need for procurement and distribution.
Prahlad Bhasin, Mumbai
Who’s Caesar’s wife now?
Apropos of the report “Centre holds out hope on key Bills”, how is it that the government expects that the demand of removal of Sushma Swaraj, Vasundhara Raje and Shivraj Singh Chouhan not having been met, the Opposition will play ball? The NDA said former PM Manmohan Singh was ‘Caesar’s wife’ and now finds itself to be so. It must clear its name in the Lalitgate and Vyapam matters before Opposition cooperates.
Sumona Pal, Kolkata
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