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Tuesday, 20 February 2018

The Hindu Editorial : Fixing delivery


Title: Fixing delivery 

(The efficiencies of the direct benefit transfer for fertilizer subsidies should be increasingly visible) 

Each time a farmer purchases fertilizers from a dealer, he/she presses his or her thumb at a point-of-sale (PoS) device and an authenticated receipt comes out giving details of the purchase and subsidy to be paid by the government directly to the manufacturer. 

The pilot project 

• DBT in fertilizer envisages transfer of subsidy to manufacturers upon authentication of purchase by farmers. 

• This restricts diversion, prevents leakages, and brings about greater transparency, accountability and efficiency. 

• The Standing Committee on Chemicals and Fertilizers (2016-17) set up by NITI Aayog decided to roll out the pilot on DBT in fertilizers in 16 districts. Since then DBT in fertilizers has been rolled out in 19 States and Union Territories and 12 States are expected to come on board this month. In another three months, DBT in fertilizers is expected to expand its footprint in the entire country. 

DBT in fertilizers has had its challenges one of them is:- 

An important issue has been connectivity, like other IT-based initiatives, especially in rural areas. 

• An independent evaluation agency appointed by NITI Aayog conducted two rounds of surveys of the pilot districts to get ground-level feedback. 

• In the latest round, they surveyed 5,659 farmers and 427 retailers across 14 districts in addition to government officials and stakeholders in six States. 

The key findings included: 

• (1) The Aadhaar authentication strike rate increased to as high as 97% in three attempts. 

• (2) 85% of farmers received transaction receipts, and 98% were charged the same amount as mentioned in the receipt.
 • Interestingly, despite initial challenges, a majority of farmers (and retailers) prefer the DBT system. 

What lies ahead 

• Innovative solutions —so that retailers can use desktops, laptops, tablets, smartphones, etc. to run the application — are expected to help. 

• The revamped toll-free number will soon allow conversations in regional languages. • Reducing the waiting time for farmers purchasing fertilizers is important. 

• While Aadhaar is the preferred form of identification of buyers, other forms of identification may also be used. 

Title: Old friends 

• (India must maintain its steady course of strengthening ties with Iran) 

• Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s visit to India was pitch perfect in content and optics. 

• India and Iran signed agreements and memorandums of understanding on a wide variety of issues. 

• Among the announcements was the decision to award India the contract to operate the Chabahar Shahid Beheshti port terminal after the project is completed. 

• There were discussions on enhancing trade and investment and ease of doing business between India and Iran, including a double taxation avoidance agreement and an expert group to recommend “trade remedy measures”. 

• Just before Mr. Rouhani’s visit, India announced it would allow Indian investment in Iran to be done in rupee terms. The concession, which has so far been extended only to Bhutan and Nepal, allows money lying in Indian banks as payment for imports from Iran, mostly oil, to be repatriated. 

 Final Words 

• It is crucial that India maintain a steady course on its strategic interests with Iran, a key source of energy, and as Mr. Modi put it, a “golden gateway” to Afghanistan and Central Asia. 

Title : Old friends & Fixing delivery 

 Vocabulary words: 

• Hinterland (noun) = The remote area of a country  (आंतरिक इलाके) • Constraint (noun) = A limitation or restriction (बाध्यताएं) • Pilot project (noun) = An act of testing something  (अग्रगामी परियोजना) • Envisage (verb) = Predict, anticipate (परिकल्पना करना) • Disburse (verb) = Spend, expend, pay out (क़ीमत देना) • Allied (adj) = Joined or related to members  of alliance (सहबद्ध) • Multilingual (adj) = Using several languages (बहुभाषी) • Arduous (adj) = Involving or requiring strenuous effort (कठिन) • Attrition (noun) = The process of reducing something’s strength or effectiveness through sustained attacks • Agnostic (adj) = Unbelieving, unsure (संशयवादी) • Revamp (verb) = Renovate, overhaul (सुधार) • Optics (noun) = The scientific study of sight (दृष्‍टि विज्ञान) • Repatriate (verb) = Return to one’s own country (स्वदेश भेजना) • Endorse (verb) = Declare one’s public approval  (समर्थन करना) • Overture (noun) = An introduction to something (प्रस्ताव) 


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