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Government of India
Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution
16-September-2016 16:47 IST
States asked to expedite the reforms so as to bring transparency
in the functioning of PDS

Shri Ram Vilas Paswan, Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution has requested States to expedite the reforms so as to bring transparency in the functioning of Public Distribution System (PDS), which is a key feature of National Food

Shri Ram Vilas Paswan, Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution has requested States to expedite the reforms so as to bring transparency in the functioning of Public Distribution System (PDS), which is a key feature of National Food Security Act (NFSA). Highlighting the significant role played by Central and State Governments in ensuring food security to more than 80 crore eligible beneficiaries under the NFSA, which is presently being implemented in 34 States/UTs, Shri Paswan requested Kerala and Tamilnadu also to implement the Act as early as possible.

The Minister was addressing the inaugural session of the National Conference on Reforms in PDS and it Computerization here today. He appreciated the significant efforts made by the various State/UT Governments in achieving 100% digitization of ration cards and automating 1.5 Lakh Fair Price Shops across the country. He also requested the concerned States/UTs, lagging behind in PDS Computerization in general, and in Aadhaar seeding & FPS automation in particular. Shri Paswan said due to Aadhaar seeding a total of 2.33 crore ghost/fraudulent/duplicate ration cards have been deleted across 27 States and UTs which has led to estimated ‘Rightful Targeting of Food Subsidies’ of Rs. 14,000 crore.

Addressing the conference Shri C.R. Chaudhary, Minister of State of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution emphasized  the need to further improve the efficiency and transparency of all operations related to food security i.e. production, procurement, storage, logistics, distribution and nutrition among others. In order to ensure the timely delivery of quality food-grains and protect consumer rights, he requested the concerned stakeholders to modernize procurement operations, construct scientific storage facilities, implement NFSA and complete the end to end computerization of TPDS operations within the desired timeframes.

In her address, Ms. Vrinda Sarup, Secretary, Department of Food and Public Distribution, said that the National Conference provides an opportunity to review the progress and devise an effective roadmap for the acceleration of PDS reforms. With the innovative use of technology, significant progress has been reported by States/UTs in last two years. She identified the reduction of inclusion and exclusion errors and Aadhaar validation as the key focus areas so that no eligible beneficiary is denied entitlement under the PDS scheme.

CEO of UIDAI, who also attended the conference, informed that the Section 7 of Aadhaar Act has been notified and made operational w.e.f. 12th of September 2016. He also briefed the gathering on the implications of Section 7 and Section 12 of Aadhaar Act which requires Aadhaar authentication on possession of Aadhaar for availing subsidy from consolidated fund of India. Those who do not have Aadhaar will be required to enroll for it. Departments can also provide for alternate methods of identification, so that no beneficiary is denied the benefit from Government Schemes in the interim.

Officers from the State Governments of Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Maharashtra shared the Best Practices in Aadhaar Seeding, FPS automation and Supply Chain Management for the benefit of others States/UTs.

As on date, the current status of the Plan Scheme on ‘End-to-end Computerisation of TPDS Operations’ can be summarized as:

Digitization of ration cards/ beneficiaries data

Completed in all 36 States & UTs.

Digitised details of 24.27 Cr. Ration Cards are available on transparency portals of all States/UTs

Aadhaar Seeding of Ration Cards

64.86% (15.74 Cr. of 24.27 Cr.) Ration Cards seeded to enable better targeting of food subsidies

Online allocation of foodgrains

Started in 28 States/UTs

Automation of Supply-chain

Completed in 18 States/UTs, and is in full-swing in remaining States/UTs

Transparency portals

Set up in all 36 States/UTs

Grievance redressal facilities

Either or both Toll-free helpline numbers or Online grievance registration facility are available in all 36 States/UTs

Automation of Fair Price Shops

More than 1.53 Lakh of 5.28 Lakh FPSs are automated across the country.

Direct Benefit Transfer (Cash)

Implemented in 3 Union Territories on pilot basis.

Union Territory

Introduced w.e.f.

Beneficiaries Covered

Monthly Subsidy

Chandigarh

01/09/2015

2,45,796

Rs. 2.39 Crore.

Puducherry

01/09/2015

6,15,803

Rs. 8.45 Crore.

Dadra & Nagar Haveli

01/03/2016

37,008 in two urban areas

Rs. 43.63 Lakh

           

Andhra Pradesh is the first State in the country to automate all of its  29,027 Fair Price Shops, followed by Madhya Pradesh (all 22,401 FPSs), Daman & Diu (all 51 FPSs), and Tamil Nadu (all 34,723 FPSs). Considerable progress has also been achieved in Gujarat, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan with 17,000 (99%), 11,965 (97%) and 24,649 (96%) automated FPSs respectively. As a result, these States/UT have been able to reduce ghost lifting, achieve better targeting of food subsidies by authentication of eligible beneficiaries, improvement in service delivery, weeding out bad FPSs, etc.

India’s Public Distribution System (PDS) is one of the world’s largest food security schemes which operates in more than 650 districts across 36 States/UTs through a network of over 5.3 lakh FPSs. In an effort to facilitate cross learning and disseminate best practices w.r.t. the implementation of the Plan Scheme on ‘End-to-end Computerisation of TPDS Operations’, the two days Conference of Secretaries Food and Consumer Affairs from all States & Union Territories is being attended by senior officials from the Central Ministries also.  Besides reforms in PDS system conference is also discussing strengthening of consumer redressal mechanism in the country.

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NCJ/NN