The article “Neither effective nor equitable” (Dec. 4) reinforces the apprehensions expressed over the effectiveness of the government’s ambitious scheme of direct cash transfers. BPL families can ill-afford to spend money on buying goods at market prices and wait for three months to be reimbursed.
The cash which is not doled out in time may not be used by the beneficiaries for the stated purpose.
The government’s direct cash transfer scheme is bound to fail unless it ropes in the panchayati raj institutions and self-help groups in villages. Opening a bank account is a mounting task for a poor villager. The government should defer implementing the scheme till a substantial number of beneficiaries open bank accounts.
The cash transfer scheme is one of the finest mechanisms to check leakage. It can streamline the subsidy system if conditions like opening bank accounts are met. The authors could have provided some statistics to prove that the actual reduction in subsidy in Kotkasim is due to the involuntary withdrawal of legitimate buyers. In the absence of that, it remains a very subjective claim.
Kamal Kishor Pandey,
According to government directions, Fair Price Shops should be allotted only to the poor and needy. But, in reality, the shops are owned by people with political links. This is one of the reasons for corruption. FPS should be allotted on the basis of merit to delink it from political strongmen. Those running the shops should be given some remuneration because it is not possible to run them on government commissions.