Nilekani to head task force on subsidies for kerosene, LPG

Written by: Pti
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New Delhi, Feb 14 (PTI) The government today constitutedan inter-ministerial task force under UIDAI chairman NandanNilekani for evolving mechanisms to provide direct subsidieson kerosene, cooking gas (LPG) and fertilisers to intendedbeneficiaries.

"In order to evolve a suitable mechanism for directsubsidies to individuals and families who are entitled tokerosene, LPG and fertiliser ... the Government of India hasconstituted a Task Force," the Finance Ministry said in arelease.

Former chief of IT major Infosys, Nilekani is currentlythe chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India(UIDAI).

He is also handling several government IT projectsincluding one on the proposed Goods and Services Tax (GST).

The government has constituted the task force in lightof the "overwhelming evidence" that the present policy ofgiving subsidy on kerosene is resulting in "waste, leakage,adulteration and inefficiency", the statement said.

Government provides Kerosene at subsidised prices to BPLfamilies under the Public Distribution System (PDS).

"Therefore, it is imperative that the system of deliveringthe subsidised kerosene be reformed urgently," it added.

Similarly, the statement said that the system ofprovision and delivery of subsidised LPG to intendedbeneficiaries needs to be reformed.

Fertiliser is given to farmers at subsidised rates.

"It is not possible to differentiate the segments forwhich the subsidy should be given in this (fertiliser) sector.

There is a need to evolve a suitable mechanism for directsubsidies to individuals who are entitled to them," it said.

The Task Force would submit its interim report withinfour months of its constitution.

The recommendations of the report would be implemented ona pilot basis by the concerned ministries under thesupervision of the Task Force in the following six months fromthe date of submission of the interim report, it added.

Besides, the Task Force would evolve a model of directtransfer of subsidies on these items by re-engineeringexisting systems, processes and procedures in theimplementation process.

The panel has also been asked to design appropriate ITsystems and aligning these (the issue of subsidies) with theissuance of UID numbers, and bringing about changes in theadministration and supply chain management.

Besides Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI)chairman, the team will consist of secretaries from finance,chemicals

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