Infographics 2016

A majority of households cutting across income classes prefer cash to in-kind transfers


The poor use India’s massive public distribution system (PDS) for foodgrains much more than the rich, and rate the quality of grains more favourably than richer income classes, a large-scale nationally representative survey conducted this year shows. The ‘Household Survey on India’s Citizen Environment & Consumer Economy’ (ICE 360° survey 2016) shows that 73% of households belonging to the bottom quintile avail grains from the PDS. The proportion of households belonging to the top percentile that avails PDS grains is less than half that figure at 35%.

The PDS gets higher approval ratings from the poor than the rich. A third of the bottom quintile (the poorest 20%) rated the quality of grains availed through the PDS as good while only 12% of the top quintile (the richest 20%) thought the same. Among the top percentile (richest 1%), the figure was even lower at 9%, the ICE 360° survey shows. Nonetheless, even the poor seem to favour a shift to cash transfers, the survey shows. The ICE 360° survey is among the largest consumer economy surveys in the country. The response period of the survey was April 2015 to March 2016.