Lauding the government's Direct Benefit Transfer scheme, multilateral funding agency Asian Development Bank today said it will advise other developing nations to implement it in order to check corruption and prevent leakages in subsidies.
"I think it is a great effort. We are learning a lot from India. You are now building a bio information and then you are providing direct subsidy without any intermediary. That would significantly reduce corruption and inefficiencies," ADB Chief Economist Changyong Rhee told a media conference.
"We at ADB will really push this idea to other developing countries as a way to enhance public finance and as a way to enhance transparency," he said.
Rhee said public service delivery in the Asian region has improved remarkably in the last 30-40 years due to rapid growth. However, he said slowdown may have a negative impact on the public delivery system and called for better targeting of subsidies.
"Countries need to shift from general targeting to focused targeting approach as lion's share of the subsidies are taken away by the rich," Rhee said adding the leakage in the current Public Distribution System (PDS) in India is enormous.
The government rolled out the DBT scheme from January 1 in 43 districts in the first phase. The scheme would now be extended to 78 more districts from July as will be expanded to include LPG subsidy in a phased manner to cover 20 districts by May 15.
Asia’s public services dire
Public services in developing regions of Asia are frequently failing to reach the needy, says a new Asian Development Bank (ADB) study.
It says the delivery and quality of public services have lagged the meteoric growth rates seen in many economies in the region.
The report titled 'Empowerment and Public Service Delivery in Developing Asia and the Pacific' which was launched today at ADB's 46th annual meeting of its Board of Governors here. "In South Asia for example, access to primary schooling has grown substantially over the past decade, but the report found there is no evidence of improved access to public health services," the agency said.
Giving communities more say and power over service provision will require legal and institutional arrangements which encourage citizen participation, as well as the necessary capacity-building support and resources, it added.
The statement further says creative solutions must be explored, such as contracting out the delivery of some public services to private parties and non-government organisations, broader adoption of new communications technologies, and a possible shift to a cash-based social assistance transfer system. In 2012, Manila-based ADB's assistance totalled USD 21.6 billion, including co-financing of USD 8.3 billion, the statement said.