No wonder everybody loves a good drought

Rajiv Gandhi it was who said that of every rupee that is benevolently sent in the direction of India’s poor, only 14 paise reaches its intended target. No wonder.

New Delhi: In the last three years, Rs 31,585.98 crore worth of wheat and rice meant for the poorest of the poor was siphoned off from the public distribution system. Last year alone, Rs 11,336.98 crore worth of foodgrain that the government is supposed to distribute to the needy at subsidised prices found its way into the market illegally.

Every year, India’s poor are cheated out of 53.3% of wheat and 39% of rice meant for them. […] The North-East is in a class of its own. Of the eight states here, not a single grain of wheat supplied to six—Sikkim, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Assam—reaches the targeted poor.