Cutting grain pilferage: Bihar to be first state to roll out DBT to PDS

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New Delhi | Updated: April 8, 2016 6:41:14 PM

Bihar will be the first state after three Union territories (UTs) — Puducherry, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Chandigarh — to roll out Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) in Public Distribution System (PDS) for cutting grain pilferage, with the project being introduced in the Purnia district.

The government has purchased more than 35,000 tonne of pulses — tur and urad — in the ongoing kharif marketing season so far. (Express Photo)The government has purchased more than 35,000 tonne of pulses — tur and urad — in the ongoing kharif marketing season so far. (Express Photo)

Bihar will be the first state after three Union territories (UTs) — Puducherry, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Chandigarh — to roll out Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) in Public Distribution System (PDS) for cutting grain pilferage, with the project being introduced in the Purnia district.

“DBT will be introduced as a pilot project next month in one of the blocks of Purnia district,” a food ministry official said. The food ministry has allowed states to take DBT on a pilot basis in districts of their choice. “We have been encouraging states to experiments with DBT in PDS for bringing efficiency in grain distribution to poor families,” the official told FE. Under DBT, instead of subsidised foodgrain, the subsidy component is being credited to beneficiaries’ bank accounts each month.

Bihar will also install Electronic Point of Sale (EPoS)at 56 fair price shops of Noor block of the Nalanda district.

Meanwhile, since last year, the Centre has rolled out DBT under the PDS in three Union territories. The Chandigarh food department, since December last year has been transferring `1.67 crore to the beneficiary households’ Aadhaar-seeded bank accounts under the National Food Security Act (NFSA).

Sources in the UT administration said the implementation of Aadhaar-enabled DBT has led to removal of thousands of bogus entries from the city’s list of PDS households, which are now pegged at some 56,000.

Earlier, the Chandigarh food department used to distribute 26,000 quintals of grains every month to families under NFSA, which guarantees 3 kg of wheat and 2 kg of rice per person at `2 per kg and `3 per kg, respectively. For Chandigarh, the economic costs of PDS rice and wheat are `23.12 per kg and `16.12 per kg, respectively, and this includes, apart from the procurement costs, the expenses on grain transportation, storage and distribution, besides PDS retailers’ margins.

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