Food bill: Experts seek proper selection, revamped PDS
Sep 08 2013 , New Delhi
While N C Saxena, sitting member of National Advisory Council which had been instrumental in drafting of the bill, banked on schemes like Aadhar in plugging the PDS loopholes, former member Harsh Mander called for focusing on exclusion of the ineligible first, rather than selecting the eligible.
Saxena underscored the need for reforming the PDS mechanism and said while many states have improved, a number of them have a long way to go.
"States like Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat are doing well. Big states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar along with the northeastern states and Delhi, are not up to the mark," he said.
"A person in Faridabad district of Haryana was found possessing more than 500 ration cards. These things have to be done away with if we want to ensure that nobody goes to bed hungry. Aadhar can help in streamlining the PDS mechanism, and weeding out the ineligibles," Saxena told PTI.
The food security bill, an ambitious project of the UPA and touted as a game-changer ahead of the next Lok Sabha polls, was recently cleared by both the Houses of Parliament.
Mander also pointed out that the real issue will be the identification of beneficiaries and the next government at the Centre will need to work towards striking a synergy among the states.
"Implementation of the food bill will very much depend on the next government. Identification of those to be entitled with foodgrains is a real challenge and I believe, that rather than who should get, he focus of the states should be on who should not. Exclusion of ineligibles is more crucial than selecting the actual beneficiaries," he said.