Progress and Shortcomings of Cash Transfers and PDS Evidence from Delhi

O. Grace Ngullie
Journal article Economic Affairs • December 2019 India

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(English, 8 pages)

Abstract

Over a fourth of India’s population suffers acute poverty and deprivation. A critical part of concern must go to the process of extending welfare benefits to the poor, as public service delivery of these programs frequently suffers from technical flaws and administrative inefficiencies. Whereas India’s major programme for food security– the Public Distribution System – is largely criticised for erroneous inclusion and exclusion of beneficiaries, and diversion of food subsidies that accentuate the inability of people to access food, Cash Transfer as an alternative service delivery mechanism seeks to eliminate inefficiency and corruption by giving money directly to the poor. This paper compares the implementation of PDS and Cash Transfer in Delhi to look into the necessity of formulating public policy that defines appropriate and effective mechanisms to ensure food security. The objective of the study is to evaluate the possible outcome of CT as a dependable solution for ensuring food security while drawing attention to the implementation of the most popular in-kind transfer program in the country, that is, PDS, to attain food security. An empirical investigation using questionnaires-based survey covering 80 households and eight Focus Groups Discussions with beneficiaries, and interviews with concerned implementing agencies showed that both schemes formed an important basis in sustaining households’ basic needs, and had spill over effect on gender equation at the household level. Yet, exclusion and corruption continued to a larger extent in PDS compared to CT, and both lacked effective responsiveness and accountability in governance mechanisms.

 

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Economic Affairs

Economic Affairs, Quarterly Journal of Economics, is a Peer-Review publication based on multi-dis... see more