May 9, 2013

" is a little present for some of the other speakers and particularly for Mr. Javadekar. It's a little zoo with some animals like zebra, and giraffe and tiger, and basically my intention is to ask Mr. Javadekar - he has rightly said that for debate we have to create the right ambiance and it is true a very tense and agitated ambiance is being created by some of the scams that have come out in recent ..[days] and so and so forth, but let us not go further and create the ambiance of a zoo which will really make any sort of debate impossible.  I wish the zoo also had something like a unicorn or a mermaid or some other imaginary animal because I would offer it to Mr. Panagariya because when we're talking about cash transfers we're talking about something imaginary. It's not there. The PDS is there, in every village in the country has a PDS. We have learnt a lot of how the PDS can be made to work. This [National food Security] Bill is really an opportunity to transform the reach and the functioning of the PDS and I think it's much better to do that right away rather than talk about imaginary things..that may not be imaginary in the future. I'm not saying that we should never ever have cash transfers, in fact I support certain kinds of cash transfers today like pensions which are already in place to some extent but I don't support a completely theoretical replacement of a functioning PDS in the country with a system of cash transfers.."

Jean Dreze

35:30 onwards

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