Food Subsidy in Cash or Kind: The Wrong Debate -Anirudh Krishna and Tushar Agrawal
-Economic and Political Weekly
The need for the public distribution system varies widely across states and districts. In some districts, the poor draw more than 80% of their grain from thePDS, but in other districts this share is less than 10%. A wide diversity of relationships with the PDS exist, suggesting a need for alternative modes of provisioning. A variable geometry of food provisioning might emerge, with cash working better for the needs of some districts and grain supply continuing to work better in other districts. Only a well-designed empirical test of the alternative modes will help ascertain the preferred shape of the PDS for a particular state or district.
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