ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Food Subsidy in Cash or Kind?

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.

After the Dividend

As in any other society, in India too, the economic security of the aged is based on three main sources: their own income and savings, support from the extended family, particularly children, and support from the state. As India moves rapidly towards a demographic future in which the elderly form a large part of the population, this article examines trends in each of the three supports. While doing so it identifies the policy challenges and lists suggestions to deal with them.
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