Present system of food grain distribution will be continued; Possible inflation one reason for maintaining the system
PANJIM: After studying the possible consequences, the State government on Wednesday decided not to adopt the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) mechanism under Public Distribution System (PDS) in which fair price shops would have to be closed. The government decided to continue with the present system of distributing food grains.
This decision has brought relief to the 446 fair price shop owners who had feared they would have to close their shops, as well as to the people who had been purchasing food grains under the PDS.
Speaking to Herald, Civil Supplies and Price Control Minister Govind Gaude said, “After analysing all the drawbacks we have come to conclusion that it is not possible for the government to give DBT of cash in the name of beneficiary and thus we have decided to continue with the present system of distributing food grains under PDS.”
He added, “There are a lot reasons for not adopting that system. Most of the ration cards holders are in the rural area and in those areas men have good control over the women so they may use that money for alcohol or any other habits. In terms of cash the government is already giving it through various schemes. Another reason for not adopting the scheme is that there can be inflation in the market which will be very difficult for the people,” Gaude said.
He further said that Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has agreed to continue with the PDS and that the government will reply to the Centre on this by the first week of November.
“If the government had decided to close fair price shops it would result in closing down godowns of the Food Corporation of India (PCI),” he said
A notification issued by the Central government had suggested that all States replace the present system of distributing subsidised food grains through fair price shops and directly transfer the subsidy amount to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries in a bid to eliminate wasteful expenditure, corruption and leakages.
Malpractices will be curbed: Gaude
Civil Supplies and Price Control Minister Govind Gaude on Wednesday said malpractices at fair price shops will be curbed.
“From now on there will be strict checks on all fair price shops to curb malpractices. I had also called for a meeting with all the major heads of department at which strict directions have been given to suspend licenses of fair price shops indulging in corrupt malpractices,” Gaude said.