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Direct subsidy transfer on fuel would curb pilferage and leakages: Mukherjee

New Delhi , Tue, 05 Jul 2011 ANI

New Delhi, July 5 (ANI): Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday said the direct subsidy transfer on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), fertiliser and kerosene is meant to curb pilferage and leakages.


Speaking at an event to mark the release of a study report compiled by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) here, Mukherjee said: "I sincerely thank Nandan Nilekani (UIDAI chairman) and his colleagues, large number of Secretaries (who) were made the members of this task force and they have done a good job. And we are expecting to have a technological solution and to create a platform which can be used by various stakeholders including the state government who are providing subsidy to prevent pilferage and leakage."


Mukherjee said there would be a pilot project that will take approximately six months time and it would take into account the experiences and case studies observed by the task force vis-à-vis the project.


The Finance Minister further said the task force would submit the final report by the end of this year.


Nandan Nilekani, who submitted the Interim Report of the Task Force on Direct Transfer of Subsidies on LPG, petroleum and kerosene, son the occasion said the common or core subsidy management platform (CSMS) would help millions of people in the country to get their subsidised entitlements on time.


"A common subsidy management platform, which can be used for any kind of subsidies, both for goods as well as for cash, essentially using a very technology based solutions to reach millions of Indians so that they can get their subsidies on time," he said.


Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, who was also present on the occasion, candidly noted that he had no doubts about the proposals reducing pilferage and leakages.


"At least we strongly support the proposal that we should shift to using this platform. It will lead to a huge increase in convenience. It will empower the people who are getting the subsidy. It will be more efficient. It will reduce leakage. Even if the subsidy volume remains the same the purpose of this is not to reduce the volume of subsidy," said Ahluwalia.


"The purpose of this is to rationalise, so that the subsidy goes to the people who are really supposed to get it. Now, I have not the slightest doubt that they will greatly reduce misuse, leakage, diversion and black money," he added.


The interim report submitted by Nilekani recommended a solution in a phased manner for the entire nation.


Mukherjee said the success of such a transfer would depend on the state governments, as they are responsible for the distribution system.


Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, Minister of New and Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah and Petroleum Minister S Jaipal Reddy were also present on the occasion. (ANI)


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