As Kejriwal govt gears up to unroll doorstep delivery of PDS ration, expert says scheme unlikely to achieve much
Following the Supreme Court's verdict, it appears that the Delhi government plans to push ahead with its plan of doing 'doorstep delivery' in the PDS. The idea was mooted in light of large-scale exclusion resulting from the introduction of Aadhaar based biometric authentication (ABBA). It was heartening to see that the Delhi government was willing to acknowledge that there is a problem which needs action. Unfortunately, the proposed solution — ie door-step delivery — is unlikely to achieve anything and may end up making matters worse.
One, it will not solve the problem of exclusion due to ABBA (largely due to biometric and connectivity failures). So long as ABBA continues, the exclusion will continue. ABBA brings no benefits in terms of reducing corruption, only increases people's hardships. Two, delivery at the doorstep of PDS beneficiaries may reduce transparency and increase corruption. Distribution of grain in a public place reduces the chances of cheating. Three, the proposal is impractical - who will deliver to people's homes, who will monitor these people, who will bear the additional costs," says Reetika Khera, Associate Professor, Economics, IIT Delhi