Skip to main content

59 pc of PDS grains do not reach households: report

Despite India spending over two per cent of GDP in social protection schemes, their returns in terms of poverty reduction are yet to reach full potential, a World Bank report has said, pointing to "high leakages" in PDS and "uneven implementation" of MNREGA across states.

The report, the first comprehensive review of India's social welfare and anti-poverty initiatives, said about 60 per cent of grains released by government under public distribution system did not reach households in 2004-05.

"India spends over two per cent of GDP in social protection programmes, more than many other developing nations and there are pockets OF good performance but the overall returns in terms of poverty reduction and improvement in livelihood have not reached their full potential," World Bank lead economist John Blomquist said while presenting the new report in New Delhi.

The study, commissioned in 2004 after request from the Planning Commission, said while poorer states get larger share of central budget, they spend relatively less per poor rural households, mostly due to capacity constraints like lack of staff and technological tools and implementation problems.

According to the report "Social Protection for a Changing India", the effect of PDS on poverty reduction is low due to "high leakages to non-poor" and weak administrative features.

"Only 41 per cent of the grain released by government reached households, as per 2004-05 figures," Blomquist said. While states like Tamil Nadu showed high level of purchase of PDS grains (80 per cent rural households and 50 per cent urban), it was below five per cent in Bihar and Punjab.

Blomquist also pointed to new initiatives in some states like introduction of food coupons and smart cards to increase accountability and said in the long-term, the idea of moving towards cash transfers instead of grains can be toyed with.

On Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme, the report said it has significantly high coverage and impressive inclusion of scheduled castes (31 per cent), scheduled tribes (25 per cent) and women (50 per cent).

But it also pointed to "uneven implementation" of MNREGA across states. While about 90 per cent rural household reaped benefits of the scheme in Rajasthan, the percentage was less than 20 per cent in Punjab, Haryana, Kerala and Gujarat.

"Localised studies point to some evidence of leakage of funds, delay in fund transfers to panchayats," Blomquist said.

The Bank said the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojna is showing major advantages while other programmes like Sampoorna Grameen Rojgar Yojna, Annapurna scheme, Indira Awas Yojna and mid-day meal scheme have recorded "mixed performance".

The Bank suggested that the government can consolidate various schemes into three core flagship programmes and give block grants to states to finance related schemes.


Popular posts from this blog

"Facebook Tests a New Feature To Let Users Enjoy Events Togather"

Facebook is testing a new feature to let users share events that they are interesting in attending to, on their "Stories" so that they can coordinate with friends and enjoy events together.

According to a TechCrunch report, the test will involve a new option to "Share to Your Story" that appears when you visit an event's page on Facebook.

"If shared, friends will see a tappable sticker within your Story that includes the event details and lets friends respond that they're also 'interested' right from the Story itself," the report added.

Friends also can tap on the sticker in the Story to visit the event page.

"There's also a link to the event page built in and a way to start a group chat on Messenger with friends who responded," said The Verge.

The test is currently rolling out to users in the US, Mexico and Brazil.

To use the new test feature, go to the Events page, click "Share" below the date and time of the eve…

Sudan Restricts Social Media Access to Counter Protest Movement

Since last year Internet freedom in Sudan declined due to a crippling economic crisis that made access to ICTs prohibitively expensive for everyday users. The government also exerted increasing control over the online sphere by arresting online journalists and activists and introducing new restrictive laws and also blocking access to social media used to organise nationwide anti-government protests triggered by an economic crisis.

Sudan has been rocked by near-daily demonstrations in the past over two weeks.

In a Northeast African country where the state controls traditional media, the internet has become an important information battleground. Of Sudan’s 40 million people, about 13 million use the internet and more than 28 million own mobile phones.

According to local media, about 13 million of Sudan’s 40 million people use the internet.
Hashtags in Arabic such as “Sudan’s_cities_revolt” have been widely circulated from Sudan and abroad. Hashtags in English such as #SudanRevolts have…

Largest Spike in Hate Crimes Since 9/11, Says a Report

The number of hate crimes reported in the United States jumped by 17% last year, the largest increase since 2001 when the terrorist hijackings on 9/11 fueled a surge in attacks on Americans of Muslim and Arab ancestry.

A total of 7,175 hate crime incidents were reported to the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program in 2017, up from 6,121 in 2016, said the UCR Program's annual Hate Crime Statistics report, Xinhua reported.

It's the third year in a row the FBI has reported an increase in hate crimes. The number of hate crimes in 2016 rose about five percent from 2015.

The 2017 incidents encompass 8,437 total offences, meaning some involved multiple criminal charges.

According to the report, the most common bias categories in single-bias incidents were race/ethnicity/ancestry (59.6 percent), religion (20.6 percent), and sexual orientation (15.8 percent).

The victims represented a cross section of society, with African-Americans and Jews the most frequently targeted victims. Of 34…