New Delhi: Only about 42% of subsidized grains issued by the Central Pool reaches the target group, according to a Planning Commission study, Parliament was informed on 11 March.
A study by Programme Evaluation Organization of the Planning Commission, which covered 18 states, revealed that though the offtake per household has shown improvement under Targeted Public Distribution System, only about 57% of the BPL households are covered by it, Minister of State for Finance P K Bansal told Rajya Sabha in a written reply.
To another query, Bansal quoted Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as saying at the Institute of Economic Growth function, “I find we spend far too much money funding subsidies in the nature of equity, with neither equity objectives nor efficiency objectives being met.”
The amount of subsidies during 2007-08 for food, fertilizers and petroleum is estimated (revised) at Rs64,929 crore, Bansal said.
The food subsidies are largely designed to be targeted to people below the poverty line, he said.
The other two subsidies, fertilizer and petroleum, particularly LPG, are available to all users and consumers.
Based on evaluation studies and feedback received from states, a nine-point action plan has been jointly formulated by the Central and the state/UT governments to strengthen the targeted PDS, he said
These include regular reviews of the BPL and Anyodaya Anna Yojana lists to ensure coverage of eligible families, involvement of Panchayati Raj institutions in the PDS operations, use of information technology, creating awareness among public about PDS operations.