Modi govt may launch drive asking people to give up PDS & other subsidies
Emboldened by the success of its campaign appealing to relatively well-off sections to give up their LPG subsidy, the Narendra Modi government may run similar campaigns for other subsidies as well.
The main targets will be the Public Distribution System, scholarships and fertilisers. Apparently, this initiative comes right from the top, presumably PM Modi or at least his Cabinet.
A senior officer in the Food and Civil Supplies ministry said that they have started the campaign regarding PDS subsidy and they have written to all the states for this purpose. Even though no state, not even BJP ruled states have responded as yet, the Centre has decided to go ahead with this campaign.
The railways may also follow suit and it is considering making passengers pay the entire fare.
The government claims that it saved Rs 21,000 crore due to PM Modi's appeal to people to give up their LPG subsidy. But the Comptroller and Auditor General punctured these claims and said that the actual savings were less than one tenth of this amount – under Rs 2,000 crore. The remaining savings were due to fall in the prices of the LPG that India imports, for which the government can claim no credit.