Direct transfer of fertiliser subsidy suggested

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The recommendations of the task force for direct transfer of fertiliser subsidy to farmers merits consideration, said the economic survey. A shift to a direct cash transfer system or food stamps would anchor the country’s food policy to the requirements of the people and reduce subsidy, it said.

The nutrient based subsidy roll out was flawed since urea was kept out of its ambit, which has defeated the objective of balanced use of nutrients. While urea consumption increased

fr­o­m­ 59 per cent to 66 per cent of total consumption in 2012-13 over 2010-11, per hectare consumption of fertiliser has declined from 140 kg to 128 kg over the same period.

Food subsidy was Rs 92,000 crore in 2013-14. . The estimated annual food subsidy for implementation of the National Food Security Act at 2014-15 prices is about Rs 1,31,066 crore, the survey said.

“For shifting to direct benefit transfer, there is a need for integration of various departments. For instance, gas supply was linked to Aadhar card, bank account and consumer number. But all were independent units without integration,” said Lakshmi TM, managing director at 4G Identity Solutions.

According to her, there leakages are happening in the disbursement of pensions, gas supply, fertiliser subsidy as there is no authentication.

“In some cases, it was found that fair price shop dealers gave their own account numbers instead of the beneficiaries and pocketed the benefit,” she said adding that leakages in some case could be 40 per cent.

krishnamohan@mydigitalfc.com

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