I have been seeing that there is a lot of Hype & Hoopla around the fact that UID will weed out corruption , and that the poor will get their share of monthly grain & Kerosene quota
Let’s examine some hard facts :
PDS system runs on corruption , systemic loot and injustice to the needy card holders. Else, why will a person take a ration shop and run it for distributing sub-standard grains to the poor with so low a margin!!
The margins are barely anything to even recover the rents & other incidental costs !! It is like the fuel stations around the country, the margin of Rs.1.22 per litre of petrol and .64 Rupee on a litre of diesel is barely anything to cover the bribes to inspection authorities , rents and salaries ( few fuel pumps could be an exemption !! ). But most of the fuel stations run on ‘Adulteration’ & ‘Lesser quantities’ dispensed per every litre of fuel.
So UID has a value proposition which will make the business of PDS ( Ration shops ) business unviable for its licensees. So while the poor will have UID card , but no shops to dispense the ration !! I am not mentioning about electricity in rural India etc.etc…for reading the UID card and other related issues w.r.t implementation
Also , UID on paper is very good. Believe me, that about 300 million people in India still think that Indira Gandhi is the Prime Minister of the country !! The reason i write this is, because , parts of our country still live in 1847 ( grossly neglected ), parts live in 1947 ( plans on paper ) and about 300 Million live in 2000 ( have had an impact of ‘time bound’ growth ).
For people who don’t have shelter to sleep , clothes to wear , where will they keep the UID Card ? What will they understand of UID when they cannot even read and write , & when they know that ‘Government establishment’ is meant for either the people in government service or the corrupt !! One must study the ‘High tech’ ideas before taking it to the people who barely have 5-6 meals per week !! Remember , 7000 children die every day due to malnutrition in India
We must also understand that corruption never started because of lack of technology , but because of wrong leadership at the top, absence of a feedback mechanism & corrupt machinery at all levels, that has never taken action . So i believe that, the powerful people in the rural India will mislead the poor and keep their UID cards or the poor will spoil them due to mishandling of the cards . Also , UID does not have the techniques to turn stock hoarders and swindlers into honest PDS contractors !! Either the rot will continue after the UID or will wipe out the PDS shops by making them non-lucrative businesses .
Time to address the real issues. UID is a good idea , whose time is yet to come !!
Rajendra Pratap Gupta
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org